Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Perspectives from the Lincoln Park Patrol ~Attend city-wide crime prevention meetings

Make your neighborhood better - Attend city-wide crime prevention meetings. Next one is Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church. Topic: blight

By Pam Kleinschmidt

My volunteer experience started over three years ago as a result of my interest in ridding my street of drug dealers who lived in a neglected rental property at the end of the block. I had just moved into the lovely residential area in Lincoln Park and was fixing up the home we had purchased to rehab.

I watched cars coming and going from the property at all hours of the day and night that noisily passed our home, announcing the occupants’ arrival with blasts of loud music and that deep bass rumble that woke you from a dead sleep a block away. There were threatening arguments often outside the residence, neglected children and, more than once, gunshots. The property often had garbage strewn in the yard and an overgrown hedge which made walking safely next to a busy road impossible.

Residents along the street would meet on the sidewalk over yard work and have whispered conversations expressing their fears of personal safety, their disgust that things were not what they used to be in the neighborhood and their desire to move out of it. It was time to get organized as a group and call the landlord to register our complaints.

During one such call I received the following reply from him: “I am tired of the neighbors calling me! I moved out of that ghetto, so should you.” I replied that I had just moved into it and was determined to make it a better place to live. This response spurred me to work harder to hold that landlord accountable for his tenants and the safety issues his neglected property caused the neighborhood as well as those he was renting to.

Are you motivated to find out more about you can do build a safer and more peaceful neighborhood? You can start where I did by attending the City-wide Crime Prevention Meetings hosted by Neighborhood Housing Services monthly at Holy Family Catholic Church. This monthly meeting brings residents across the city together to discuss their concerns and provide solutions to building and sustaining a safer place for all of us to live.

Please join us for the October meeting for a presentation on the City of Duluth’s Blight Ordinance, on October 28 at 6 pm at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2430 W 3rd Street.

Are you a landlord or renter who needs help understanding the Multi-Housing Crime Free Ordinance? A training session will be offered on Tuesday, November 30, from 9am until 4pm at the West Duluth Police Station, 5830 Grand Avenue. For more information and to register, contact, Brendan Hanschen at Neighborhood Housing Services at: or 727-8604.

Additionally, you may read more about this ordinance online at the Duluth, Minnesota government website: