Embarrassed into action? Our Mayor and top brass meet with President of South Middle River Civic Association.
Posted Under: Important Issues for Fort Lauderdale
Embarrassed into action?
Our Mayor and top brass meet with President of South Middle River Civic Association.
As most of you know, a riot occurred in South Middle River on Wednesday December 14. Not only did the police fail to manage the on-again/off-again fights in the neighborhood that day, but two days later at a meeting, the police essentially argued with residents about how bad the incident actually was.
It was a shameful display of arrogance on the part of those police who were at that meeting. Most get paid many times more than the residents who were at that meeting and it appeared that night the police were more interested in protecting and serving themselves than the residents. Most of you seem to agree with me. (I hope that most of our officers would not react the way those officers did that night, and that they are better trained than that.)
After those riots, the President of the South Middle River Civic Association (Sal Gatanio) scheduled a meeting with District Commissioner Rodstrom, Police Chief Adderley, Mayor Seiler, and City Manager Feldman. Problems have been brewing for years in that neighborhood, and apparently things boiled over at that meeting (according to one unnamed City employee). After some very direct words by the President of SMRCA, it appears that some changes are finally in the works.
Several residents in South Middle River are reporting increased police presence in their neighborhood. Police are now actually getting out of their cars to walk the streets (something I have been advocating for a while now). There are several other actions that should be taken (ie: get more of our police to actually live in our City, establish a substation there, more after-hours programs for youth, etc).
I spoke to City Manager Lee Feldman about what actions he will take to correct things. While not making any commitments, he did say that some specific plans are in the works and that by January 15 we should see some new actions being taken for that neighborhood. Well, let’s hope he’s right.
According to Sal Gatanio, there are two properties that have caused most of the problems in the neighborhood for years. The first is “Crescent House”, a home for delinquent boys under 18 years old. The second is a home for delinquent girls on 11th Street near 4th Ave. Both of these facilities are being viewed by many residents as being the source of thefts and damage to the area. Whether this is true or not, it does appear that these facilities will now be watched more closely.
Will these planned actions on the part of our City Manager work and will we finally start to see some improvement in the neighborhood? We’ll have to wait and see. But those “planned actions” have come too late to help one person in that neighborhood. That person was shot and killed this morning, in the 700 block of Northwest 12th Ave.