Maplewood officials hear more from proponents of community policing

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In a meeting with less on the agenda than two weeks ago, Maplewood city officials on Tuesday heard from members of the Maplewood Community Builders group about community policing and from one Marietta Avenue resident about slowing traffic on the street. They also OK’d a tattoo studio (parking was the only issue discussed) and filled the last vacant position on the city’s commissions.

With many Marietta Avenue residents at the previous meeting, several Maplewood Community Builders group took the opportunity on Tuesday to speak in the public forum. About a dozen came and five spoke.

They’re hoping to influence decisions about next year’s budget on how to spend the city’s Proposition P funds — more with the community’s needs in mind, rather than just hiring more officers.

Maplewood resident Dessa Shuckerow was one who gave an example of how Maplewood first responders could be more responsive. She said she and her partner are foster care parents and more than once they’ve needed help handling a child.

She said each time she called she asked for just one officer to come, but several police cars and a fire truck arrived with sirens, which made it worse in each case. She said an officer trained to handle such a situation would help.

The council plans to begin its next meeting with a work session on next year’s budget. Mayor Barry Greenberg said the work session is public, but the public won’t be allowed to speak.

The owners of All-Star Tattoo said after the meeting their University City shop would remain open at least six months. The new Maplewood location, on S. Big Bend, might open around the beginning of 2019.

Nicky Rainey was one member of the Maplewood Community Builders group who spoke on Tuesday.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Ms. Shuckerow brings up a good point. Last year I had a run in with a former neighbor; once a promising young person, now this individual seems to create scenes at local businesses which lead to the police being called. The officer with whom I spoke said they always knew when this person was back and off their meds . . . I think this individual’s problems come from poorly managed mental illness rather than character.
    Getting to my point, the officer with whom I spoke said that he didn’t know why, but for whatever reason Maplewood seemed to have twice as many such cases as any place else he had ever worked.
    Neighbors are neighbors; clearly the community needs to find the best way to help our neighbors with such issues. While ultimately such cases land in the lap of the police department, I think the school district needs to examine why individuals with such issues are not identified in a more timely manner, when less damage would have been done, treatment would be more likely to be successful, and outside resources (e.g. the Special School District) would be available.

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