Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bloggers, a call to action: Open your eyes and ride along

Ashvegas has a proposal for you, fellow bloggers - with crime a constant concern and the emergence of gangs a hot issue right now, we want bloggers to take the Asheville Police Department up on its "open car door" policy and go on a ride-along with police. We want you, bloggers/residents/the community, to open your eyes to what's happening right here, right now, then tell everybody what you saw.

We're not asking for you to be a mouthpiece for APD. We're asking you to see what cops on the street deal with day in and day out, then share the experience from your unique point of view. It's amazing to us how local bloggers have been so quiet on the gang issue.

We think it's because it may not have hit you where you live. But just a couple of weeks ago, the issue hit the Montford Community. It struck home with a 12-year-old shot in the back of the head, and with the 14-year-old arrested and charged with the shooting.

This is our town. These are our kids. So we're asking you to get off your couch, go out into your community, and see what's going on.

Here's what you do:

1. E-mail Sheila Warren at swarren@ashevillenc.gov and tell her you want a ride-along. Tell her if your interested in day or night, and what part of town you'd like to see.

2. Warren will send you a form to fill out. It requires you to provide your driver's license number so police can do a background check. E-mail it back with your signature, or fax to 251-4003.

3. Go on your ride-along, then write about your experience on your blog and cross-post it here. Tell us all about it.

How 'bout it, bloggers. Here's the ride-along form:

10 comments:

arratik said...

Oh, it's hit where we live, all right. It's been there for going on three years now. And because certain open-air drug market-obsessed members of City Council were demanding that the APD spend so much time in the public housing projects, it took forever to actually get their drug eradication unit, which was already spread thin almost to the point of being transparent, to start investigating these people who were essentially chased out of Hillcrest and ended up moving in next door. (They're gone now, thank goodness, but they weren't the only drug house in the neighborhood.)

Having said that, this is a great idea. Many people are blind to the gang problem, and this kind of first-hand experience will open many eyes. Dialog about a problem can't start without awareness or knowledge. Thanks for getting this started, Ash.

arratik said...

Oh, it's hit where we live, all right. It's been there for going on three years now. And because certain open-air drug market-obsessed members of City Council were demanding that the APD spend so much time in the public housing projects, it took forever to actually get their drug eradication unit, which was already spread thin almost to the point of being transparent, to start investigating these people who were essentially chased out of Hillcrest and ended up moving in next door. (They're gone now, thank goodness, but they weren't the only drug house in the neighborhood.)

Having said that, this is a great idea. Many people are blind to the gang problem, and this kind of first-hand experience will open many eyes. Dialog about a problem can't start without awareness or knowledge. Thanks for getting this started, Ash.

Gordon Smith said...

I just emailed Sheila.

This is a great idea, Ash, and I hope that a lot of you bloggy types will get in a car and ride.

Edgy Mama said...

I'm in!

George the Bastard said...

Do we have to be sober?

zen said...

I put in my request to be a photo-passenger...

ash said...

I've e-mailed Sheila and am waiting to hear back on a date. I've requested the night-time ride-along, westside.

zen said...

i emailed also and am requesting daytime - can't wait to see!

modpez said...

great idea. exposure to and experience of a world not known by many of us helps everyone. and i'm talking not only of the gang world but also the cop world. familiarity breeds respect.

Andrew said...

ANY IDEA ON WHAT PART OF TOWN WOULD BE THE MOST INTERESTING/ACTIVE?

AND DAY OR NIGHT?