No one magic bullet

The Help came over for dinner, helping me put a dent in the amount of chicken dishes I made over the weekend. As a part of our date I suggested the overly romantic idea of popping into the 5C01 SMD meeting around the block [sarcasm]. Surprisingly he thought it was a great idea, and after dinner we stopped over to the meeting that was already in progress. If you say you didn’t see us, we were in the back, and we didn’t stay long. We stayed long enough to hear about the parking situation and the Catch-22 the car owning residents of Richardson Pl. are in, and interesting things about liquor licensing. Did you know the city limits the number of A & B licenses for the whole city?
Anyway, we left and got to talking about changes in the neighborhood, particularly the drug dealing on the corner. The Help has known me since before I bought the house, and has seen the neighborhood change. Since he knows me and I pledged to be honest with him I gave him my answer and I’ll share that with you. But I don’t think it varies from what I’ve said before.
There is no one thing that I believe has reduced the dealing on the corner, but rather a whole ingredient list of things. First, I think we got better policing and policing got better. The Internet has helped a lot in getting information to the public, as opposed to the few people who show up to community police meetings. It also helped to have more police patrol cars going up and down the streets. Second, politics and city services. This neighborhood is on the ass end of Ward 5 and we were ignored by then Councilman Orange. With more people involved in local level politics, demanding and engaging more of the elected representatives, who then put pressure on city officials to tackle the crime environment. Also city services and servicing got better. Third, and you know I was going to get to it, demographic changes. There are a whole bunch of things wrapped up in that. The drug dealers need an environment and support structure and when there are fewer people who would add to it, it is undermined. There are fewer neighborhood kids to recruit. Fewer people willing to feed and house dealers. Fewer houses and businesses dealers can stand in front of or visit when they need to duck the cops. Fewer walk up customers. More people complaining and calling the cops. More disapproving eyes on the street. More dog walkers. More joggers. More homeowners. Fewer absentee landlords not caring who they put into a house. Fewer vacant houses. Fewer stores to buy MD 20/20 and a 40oz (remember the old Bates Market?). And lastly, time. All things change with time.