One neighborhood's recipe for success in the fight against crime
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Dec. 6, 2012
Reporter: Maggie Vespa
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - If there is one thing we have learned from all of this crime coverage, it's that we can get a lot more done, keeping our streets safe when we work together.
Case in point: progress in one south side neighborhood, where dozens, even hundreds are working as one to clean up their crime-ridden reputation.
From stranded carts to serious crimes, Joseph Miller has seen it all.
"We have had graffiti issues, you know, shopping carts believe it or not," he said.
Something else he saw a few years back? Reluctance among nearby residents to take a stand.
"Neighbors are going to test you, and until you're really making a difference out there, something that they can see, then there's that buy-in," he said.
And the president of the Midvale Park Neighborhood Association says make no mistake. They bought in, big time.
In recent years, Miller says residents began watching out for each other, reaching out to police, and attending regular meetings, like Thursday night's Midvale potluck, at Grijalva Elementary.
As a result, crime of all types has dropped dramatically.
"We've got a lot of good neighbors out here," said longtime resident Carol Booty. "They want to be part of it. They want to keep their neighborhood up nice. It's a good neighborhood, and we want to keep it that way."
For Midvale's moms & dads, it means piece of mind.
"(How comforting is that change as a parent to know it's a safer area for your kids?) Oh, I love it," said mother of three Michelle Gonzales. "Like honestly, I would never let my children walk to school alone, and recently... My son's in the 4th grade, and he walks every once in a while by himself to school when I'm driving. So, it's really comforting to know."
So to those living outside this progressive pocket of neighborhood pride, who would like to see similar results, Miller has some advice.
"The magic is in the numbers. You ask everyone everything all the time and a couple people respond, and then you take those people, and out of the people who respond, you know, you get a little bit of work out of them," he said. "Everyone gets it. It's just matter of having the time to do what's necessary. You know it's one step at a time."