Last night there were helicopters flying over my house again after someone fired a weapon at a house in a nearby neighborhood. As always, when this was reported people jumped on the community association email list to talk about not being safe, the increase in crime and how the police need to do more to protect them.
There are a few problems with this. One being that the community association actually pays for extra patrols and the county police are always out and about on regular patrols. I’m not sure what else they expect them to short of paying to put a police officer or private security on every corner. If we did that, they would feel safe, but would be complaining about the increase in taxes. The police and community association are doing their jobs. If you need more start a neighborhood watch.
The other problem with this is that their insistence that crime rates are going up. This is not true. I don’t have 2013 numbers because I’m not getting paid to call who I need to call to get the updated numbers, but according to the numbers from the last few years, crime is down significantly(http://www.goccp.maryland.gov/msac/crime-statistics-county.php?id=18 ) So, why do people think crime is up?
The perception comes from the east access to crime reporting theses days. It used to be that you got whatever news the paper or local tv felt was relevant. Most of the smaller crimes were never in the news. Now with all of the Patch online news sites, Facebook pages like Anne Arundel Breaking News and Events and emails for the police you can know everything thing that comes across the police scanner. All of this “reporting” gives the illusion that crime is up. All that is up is your awareness of the crime. No neighborhood will feel safe if you are aware of every report that comes over the scanner. You don’t need more police, you need less information.
Once again Anne Arundel County has been hit by storms that knocked the power out in portions of the county. Once again, when it was time for schools to reopen parents are crying that little Brittany and Jackson have to go to school when there is no power at home. How can they possibly learn if they can’t blow dry their hair in the morning? It’s an outrage! My message to them: stop crying and realize how lucky you are.
People in NYC and New Jersey have lost their homes. People have lost their lives. Some people don’t have homes to lose. There are many people worldwide who live without electricity all the time. Many have no running water. I’m sure given the chance, they would love to trade places with you. If all you have to worry about is your kids taking a cold shower before school or maybe skipping a shows for a day you should count your blessings. It could be much worse.
Odenton, MD in Anne Arundel County continues to grow. Every day I see more trees being uprooted to make way for more houses and more people. Unfortunately, the infrastructure supporting the area is not growing at the same pace. We still have the same tiny post office that was here when I moved to the area in 1995. Most mornings when I go there is one person staffing the desk. My daughter has already been redistricted to another school to make room for all of the new kids moving into the area and her old school is still using several trailers to house the older students. Ft. Meade will soon receive thousands more workers meaning many more cars on the surrounding streets during rush hour. No road improvement or widening was done in preparation for this. I’m not sure if any preparation was done in the Meade school district to prepare for the extra kids. I’m not against growth. I do think, however, that we need to halt the building of new houses, shopping centers, etc until we have a chance to widen roads, build new schools or expand existing ones, expand the post office, etc. Whatever happened to the concept of smart growth?