[Source: Theresa Pace, Special to the Republic] — Phoenix residents and officials identified and addressed crime issues at a crime summit meeting at the Valley Garden Center Saturday morning. The residents said blight, street vendors, block watches, theft, graffiti, sex-offenders, drug crimes, identity theft, and liquor licenses are the areas they are most concerned with. District 4 councilman Tom Simplot and District 7 councilman Michael Nowakowski hosted the 5th Annual District 4 Crime Summit. The meeting, which about 50 people attended, was not only an opportunity for the residents of District 4 and surrounding areas to voice their concerns about the crime in their neighborhood but also to work as a community to come up with possible solutions. By the end of the meeting, each issue was addressed and solutions to the problem were recommended.
One suggestion was the creation of an online neighborhood watch database that shows which neighborhood actively keep a look out for crime near their homes. All of the concerns and recommendations will be presented to the Phoenix City Council, Simplot said. Officials said ideas from previous summits have been turned into actual programs. One example given was a shopping cart retrieval system that helped rid neighborhoods of abandoned carts.
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard and Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris were also in attendance. “One of the most powerful thing you have are citizens engaged in fighting crime,” said Goddard. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]