Kym Kemp / Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 @ 2:31 p.m. / News
Operation Safe Street Meeting Attracts Police Chief and DA Candidates
Nextdoor.com is a social networking group for communities that local groups are exploring as a resource to cut down on crime.
Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills and the four candidates for D.A. as well as others spoke at a well attended meeting at the Eureka Vet’s Hall on Saturday aimed at addressing a perceived increase in crime.
The gathering was arranged by local businessman Gene Bass who moderated the event. “Best thing that came out of the meeting,” he said, “was a list of people willing to work on this. I miss the days when as a kid I could walk freely in this town.”
Bass says that he along with many in the community was troubled by the recent murder of Father Freed. In Eureka, a Facebook group and neighborhood watch groups have been formed to help formulate ideas on how to minimize crime.
“Nextdoor.com is something I’m really pushing for,” Bass explained in an interview with LoCO. The social networking site helps neighbors stay in touch. Bass says that the idea is to get people to take “ownership of their community one neighborhood at a time.”
“I don’t see my neighbors anymore,” Bass worries. He believes it is necessary to communicate with each other to tamp down crime. He said, “It is really going to be key for people to get together to reduce crime. Open your curtains and turn on the lights.”
Chief Mills spoke about his plans for his agency at the meeting and answered questions from the audience. He intends to have a website with a map that shows recent reported crimes providing more data to citizens “so you know what’s going on in your neighborhood.” Mills intends to meet with neighborhood groups and help them work with law enforcement.
In order to improve community cohesiveness, events like barbecues and other get-togethers were suggested. A list of people willing to work on issues was compiled.
According to Bass, “The biggest thing we’re battling here is the methamphetamine.” He pointed out that there is a meeting put together by a local doctor, Michael Fratkin of the Humboldt Meth Abuse Awareness Project, now on the 23rd at the Turf Club in the Redwood Acres Fair Grounds at 3:30 p.m. designed to address that issue specifically. (See here for Fratkin’s letter.) (See here for the Facebook group.) The community is invited to attend that event also.