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Uphams Corner Safe Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) - March 2013 Update

The Uphams Corner Safe Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) is planning a community meeting in late Spring (May), date to be announced later.  The goals will be to get feedback from residents on public safety or quality of life issues, recommendations on actions the SNI should take and to provide suggestions for residents and neighborhoods as the weather warms up and more youth are out and about.

Significant Progress Made in Uphams Corner

Last year (2012) the SNI group focused on the Groom Humphreys area.  Assistant District Attorney, Matt Feeney, who is the coordinator of the Uphams Corner SNI, made that decision based on his direct knowledge of ongoing crime investigations.

"That was the most sensitive criminal area at the time. Right now public safety improvements in Uphams Corner are a direct result of several efforts including the work of the Uphams Corner SNI."  In addition, he cited "work done by the DA's office and the police, but also the feds coming in and doing the sweep.  Many of the kids arrested in the sweep were from the Woodward Ave area and those were the kids who were fighting with the Wendover kids."

The several neighborhood walk-throughs in the Groom /Humpreys area led to a lot of efforts by Inspectional Services.  Two problem houses have been taken care of (one boarded up and the other under renovation) and Humphreys Street has posted street cleaning (though it is not clear if towing is being enforced). 

Late Spring Community Meeting Planned

In late 2012, Matt did not hold community SNI meetings but rather used his time to visit other civic organizations including Eastman/Elder and Hancock.  He asked for and got feedback and suggestions on steps SNI could take when it resumed formal community meetings. 

Given that crime is down in Uphams Corner, is an SNI still needed?  Matt says yes.  "Things seem to be improving but there are still guns on the street and periodic shootings."   

Matt added that one of the strengths of the SNI is that it works well as a "facilitator of community needs.  We need to continue on the improvements we have already made. SNI is here for the community and is not going away." 

At the same time, he said, "Community engagement and action by the community is an essential piece.  SNI cannot take the lead in isolation.  The residents need to organize themselves and let the SNI know their concerns so that an action plan can be put in place."

Matt identified May as the best time for the next community meeting.  "The weather is better and people will find it easier to attend a meeting.  Every section of Uphams Corner has the same problems. I'm hoping that a lot of people will show up and share their ideas."

Posted: March 26, 2013     Nancy J Conrad

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