Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 by Michael
#BT #VT – Most Front Porch Forum postings are simple matters of locating a babysitter or lost dog, selling a bike, or hitching a ride to Boston. We get lots of bear/moose/skunk/etc. sightings too.
Increasingly people use FPF to tackle some of the tougher challenges faced by their communities… street crime, school and town budgets, disaster recovery… and currently in Burlington, illegal drug use…
Hello Neighbors – Over the last few months, everyone in our household and that of our downstairs neighbors’ (and landlord’s) had noticed certain vehicles consistently parking on the quiet side street next to our house, and just sitting there for a long time. Of course, this sort of thing makes you wary, but we had not seen or experienced anything overtly suspicious or criminal until yesterday, when I found two used needles and bloodied alcohol swabs discarded curbside, right next to our house…
Last night, after dark, a cherry red car with a loud muffler pulled up to the same spot and sat. Our downstairs neighbor noticed this, and after a few minutes walked out to have a look/be a presence. The car quickly pulled away, turned around and took off toward North Ave. Sure enough, another pair of used needles and dirty swabs were found on the street. We called the cops, and an officer was sent over to have a look; we described the vehicle to him, and he collected one of the syringes. His idea is that people are buying on North St and then pulling back into our relatively quiet, not-much-patrolled neighborhood to shoot up.
Needless to say, this is disturbing and disheartening, and we’re hoping to help bring a stop to it ASAP. Be aware of stopped vehicles lingering at the curbside in your neighborhood, and be very careful to watch out for discarded needles, especially for the sake of children in your area (“luckily”, the needles that we have found have bright orange plastic components and are easy to spot; also, the idiot users have been thoughtful enough to cap them before dumping). Obviously, direct confrontation is not encouraged, but notice patterns and take down license plates of repeat visitors. And, of course, be very careful and wear gloves when cleaning up after these losers (the cops will come to pick them up if you’re not comfortable doing it, but they do not want them as evidence unless they are still loaded).
Be careful out there, and teach your kids the same!
Posted in: Burlington, Citizen Journalism, Civic Engagement, Community Building, Democracy, e-Vermont, Front Porch Forum, Good Government, Knight Foundation, Local Online, MacArthur Fellows, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Watch, social capital, Social Media, Social Networking, Stories, Vermont