Letter writer is wrong about downtown crime issues | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

"We need more concerned families to share their stories, instead of people who don’t live in the neighborhood, but claim to live here."

I am a resident on Wells Avenue, 20 feet from the Cedar River Trail, and across the street from Jones Park. I am a first grade teacher and a university instructor.

My family and I have been living on Wells Avenue for 7 years; I am not talking about living on top of a cozy hill on Burnett, like Rachel Myers (Letter to the Editor, Sept. 12). We live next to the Salvation Army and we are in the neighborhood with the increased crime and recent lewd activity.

I have called 911 so many times that the dispatcher probably knows my full name before I’ve completed my report. If someone wants evidence about the increase of crime, I have a copy from my surveillance camera taken of a person making his graffiti mark at 3 a.m. and a man’s hiding spot after he stole a gun from a local gun store.

Do you need more evidence?

How about the human feces and urine stains a few feet away from my driveway next door? What about the backpacks, clothes, fishing pole, plastic bags and garbage in the bushes? Maybe that is just not enough evidence for you. I should have recorded the hysterical screams of a man at 2 a.m. dancing around his wheelchair talking to himself for 30 minutes while my three babies were trying to sleep.

Wait a second, there is no need for a recording — it was documented in my 911 call. What about the prostitution drop-offs in front of Jones Park and the public sexual intercourse show in the parked vehicle on Wells Avenue? Think about it, Jones Park is a beautiful park with a toddler playground. What mother wants their baby to watch that free vehicle performance? What mother wants their kids to step in human feces as they play ball at Jones Park? What mother feels safe with her child when a group of homeless men are drinking beer, cursing, and smoking as her child freely runs around the park?

Not this mother — and by the way, I am not a critic. I am a very concerned mother of three young children, a public servant, and community member. I care about my community and that’s why I continue to report the sketchy activities and crimes.

I used to be active in my community, but I no longer feel comfortable being watched by a group of men in Jones Park as I leave my home. I keep my blinds closed now because I want my children to have good role models — profanity, alcohol, and sex are not in their vocabulary book yet. We need more concerned families to share their stories, instead of people who don’t live in the neighborhood, but claim to live here.

Paige Anh Tam,

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