Organizers of a recent community information session in Clarke Square say the resources they offer can help residents make a safer and friendlier neighborhood.
Only a handful of residents attended “Hear your voice in Clarke Square,” a recent event sponsored by the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative (CSNI) that brought law enforcement representatives and political leaders to the Milwaukee Christian Center, 2231 W. Greenfield Ave., to meet with residents and share information.
Undeterred by the small crowd despite distributing more than 3,000 flyers for the event, speakers discussed housing, jobs and safety, among other topics.
The meeting was also billed as an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other. According to Block Watch Council President Paul Grippe, that doesn’t happen enough in the neighborhood.
“We have people who’ve been in the area for 10 to 20 years who still don’t know their neighbors,” Grippe said. He added that neighbors getting to know one other makes streets safer, and that safety is the number one concern of Clarke Square residents.
So concerned and vigilant about safety are area residents that District 2, which serves Clarke Square, has more than 200 active block watches, more than any other district in the city, according to Police Officer Jesus Gloria.
Sylvia Long, who has lived in the neighborhood for 53 years, hopes a watch returns to her block soon. Along with a Clarke Square neighborhood association, she helped found a now-defunct block watch more than 20 years ago. She recalls their group hosting events such as neighborhood cleanups and even Christmas parties at the Christian Center, but said that age and other circumstances caused the group to eventually fade away.
Long said it had been a long time since she had come to a neighborhood meeting but that she was glad she came and found out what services are being offered near her home. She said, “I think it’s vital for everyone to know what’s going on in their neighborhood.”
For information on starting or joining a block watch, email Paul Grippe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (414) 645-4795.