I went to a safety summit meeting at Sunrise Inn and wondered where had all these business people been when we had a similar crime and safety summit in November 2010 with representatives from the state and federal attorney generals offices, Trumbull County Sheriff's Department, Trumbull Ashtabula Group and many others.
Our problem is that, until it affects ''us,'' it's not important.
Now I may be wrong, but we've had several murders, mainly on the southwest side of town, and I don't remember seeing any of the business owners who were represented at any of the meetings including the safety summit that was hosted by state Sen. Capri Cafaro.
How do we try to find solutions to combat the crimes that are committed in Warren? Notice, I said Warren, because when all is said and done, it is Warren where these crime sprees keep happening.
I heard many cries of "we need more police on the streets." We have an active and successful drug enforcement unit (TAG); we need to expand it and support it and provide more information to it about drug activity in the city, which needs to come from citizens who know what's going on and refuse to speak.
We have an active tip line that is not utilized because people are afraid to call. That is where Hotspot cards are effective. It is reporting crimes anonymously. They are located in all Trumbull County administration lobbies, city hall, the Warren public library, YMCA, YWCA, Warren Police Department and area churches.
Here's the big picture: We can have 100 police officers, one on every corner, and it will still take the citizens of Warren to help the police do their jobs. The police respond to calls, calls that we as citizens make. We are the eyes and ears for them so if we're not stepping up and doing our part, how can we expect the cops to do 100 percent?
Warren Weed and Seed wasn't a garden program, it was a law enforcement component that had it been fully supported by Warren and City Council, saturation patrols would still be going on. Crime intervention for young people and young adults would still be happening, but more importantly, the police would be more visible.
But council neither supported it nor tried to seek other funding before the funding was cut. I am 100 percent for solutions to our crime problems in the city, but like my friend Tina has always said, Warren is small, 15 minutes either way, we're out of Warren. What that means is this: We're a little town with big city issues, and if we can't come together and stop making things seem that it's all about your side of town, Warren will be overrun by criminals, and it's not going to matter where you live.
So what will be the follow-up of this meeting? If anyone is interested in putting up a Hotspot display at their business, call me at 330-301-8782.
Rhonda J. Bennett