When I was elected to District One of the City Council I had the privilege of representing the most diverse District in the city. The neighborhoods I represented had different issues and challenges. Some families were trying to raise children in neighborhoods with high crime and gang activity. The streets and infrastructure were old and crumbling, and there was poor code enforcement.
As I started to address the challenges these families faced I found that the Police Department through it’s Directed Patrol Officers program was already there. The Police Department had decided to be proactive. So instead of just rushing in and arresting someone after a crime had been committed, they were trying to get back to the cop on the beat concept. There should be an officer who knew everyone in the neighborhood and who the neighbors knew. Someone who could help solve problems that often lead to crime.
From then on I worked closely with these officers to provide the political will to create projects we conceived together. It was at this time the Police Athletic League was created. If your little league coach and the umpires are all police officers as opposed to a stranger in a police car it is much harder to commit a crime.
For eight years I worked alongside these officers to improve circumstances for families facing challenges that many of us can’t even imagine, so when I was coming off the Council,because of term limits, it was very special to receive this plaque of appreciation and thank from the Police Officers Association.