By Denise Dick
Boardman authorities confront crime concerns
By DENISE DICK
Lynn Kirkwood, left, and Susan Sweeney, vice president and president, respectively, of the Forest Glen Homeowners’ Association, stand next to the marker designating their neighborhood a historic district. Residents of both the Forest Glen and the Newport Glen historic areas expressed worries to Boardman trustees last week about increased crime. The township has a plan to address it and educate all residents about how to protect themselves.
Extra police visibility and teaching residents to protect themselves are some ways the township plans to address concerns of increased crime voiced by Glen residents.
Police Chief Jack Nichols issued a list of activities planned by police and the township to address concerns of all township residents.
“If we have people in the Glen who are concerned and afraid to leave their houses, we have to address that,” Nichols said.
At a trustees meeting last week, about 40 residents of the Forest Glen and Newport Glen historic areas expressed worries about increased crime and other problems in the neighborhood of upscale homes near the township’s north end.
In one incident, a couple walking their dogs were approached by four youths, and one pulled a gun.
“We’re trying to establish an overall strategy for the township as we come into the summer months,” said Administrator Jason Loree. “We want to make sure we don’t let things get out of hand.”
The strategy addresses not only efforts to be undertaken by the township but also steps members of the public can take to help protect themselves, Loree said.
A public training event will be scheduled for June as part of the plan for all township residents to learn how to be street smart.
The Operating a Vehicle While Impaired Task Force will conduct additional operations involving 10 to 15 officers on Midlothian Boulevard, Market Street, Glenwood Avenue and Shields Road surrounding the Glen area.
“I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Susan Sweeney, president of the Forest Glen Homeowners’ Association.
The association has taken its own precautions to address problems including installing speed bumps on some streets and closing off Oak Knoll Drive at Brookwood Road.
Those measures were employed to both slow down traffic as well as limit it.
“It’s for safety,” Sweeney said.
She and her husband moved to the community about three years ago from the Chicago area.
“We drove through here, and I knew this is where I wanted to live,” Sweeney said.
Neighbors all know one another and watch out for each other. They schedule neighborhood play groups for children, family picnics and Bunco games.
“It’s the neighbors that make a neighborhood good,” Sweeney said.
Her neighborhood is made up of good people, she said.
“It’s good that the police and the township know that we’re holding up the north end of Boardman,” Sweeney said.
Increased zoning enforcement and cleaning up the corner field of Glenwood and Midlothian to reduce foot traffic and trespassing are some of the other courses of action that are planned.
Sweeney said that many people walking through the neighborhood, intimidating residents, come from that overgrown field.
“We are all committed as a neighborhood to making this a zero-tolerance area,” she said. “The police will be called no matter what.”
A public training event will be offered in June to all township residents instructing them on how to be street- smart. It will teach them how to protect themselves and to think like thugs.
Extra police visibility, more patrols will be added to high activity areas of the township.
The Operating a Vehicle While Impaired Task Force will conduct additional operations involving 10 to 15 officers on Midlothian Boulevard, Market Street, Glenwood Avenue and Shields Road surrounding the Glen area — at little or no cost to the township.
Two additional police officers will be hired, which will step up narcotics enforcement.
The township will invite any neighborhood or condominium association to elect a liaison to work directly with police to try to resolve issues.
Increasing zoning enforcement, the zoning office is at full staff and increased enforcement is on the rise.
The township is going to develop a plan to clean up the corner field at Glenwood and Midlothian to help reduce foot traffic and trespassing.
Source: Boardman police