Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'll sign the complaint, officer

OUR OUTSIDE PEOPLE issue is worsening in downtown Quincy. The core group shows up early in the morning, sits at a picnic table all day and doesn't leave until dark. They are usually quiet and don't bother anybody, but as the day goes on other members of their group show up and add chaos and violence to the entire group.

Yesterday I walked the dog around the gazebo, and one of them started yelling and cursing. Then a younger guy showed up and the two had an extended back and forth verbal altercation.

I am not getting involved in any drama, but I shouldn't have to deal with a bunch of juvenile behavior and loud fighting. Four other people walking down the sidewalk also looked over and shook their heads.

I had enough. I called dispatch. They sent out two Street Crimes officers, who came over and talked to the person in question. They were getting ready to leave when I walked up and told them what I saw.
Core Group in Washington Park every day.

"Are you willing to sign the complaint and go to court?" they said.

Uh ... YES.

So. Outside Person got a disturbing the peace ticket. Now they aren't happy with me, which is fine. We continue to try to avoid the fighting, yelling and charging of each other. It is just such random and ridiculous behavior. We seem to just walk past them and wonder what can be done to get our beautiful and peaceful park back.

Sheryl had the pleasure of asking four of them to "please stop fighting in front of our store" the other day. They continued to fight and cuss at her for even trying to ask for peace. I can't imagine what a customer thinks when walking up to a store that has arguing people camped out in front. (BTW, their kick boxing skills haven't improved the past three years.)

The Quincy Park District and our downtown people are aware of the issue. Steps are being taken to address it. The Park District came down twice last week and kicked 13 unruly people out of the park.

I'm not sure what the long term solution is. You can't keep people out of the park, even if they squat all day. But we are getting really, really, really tired of the issue.

I love downtown Quincy, and Washington Park. We will do what's right so everybody can enjoy it. This is a safe and pleasant place to live, work and shop.

And we're going to keep it that way.

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