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Crime in The Pointes: Nixel Alert System Not Being Used

There's an increasingly alarming trend in Grosse Pointe of crimes involving home invasions and armed suspects. It's time to hold the police accountable for their inactions.

I'm an avid reader of Patch and I pay special attention to crimes in our community.  If you haven't been living under a rock for the past five years, you probably have noticed a strong surge in crimes involving guns, home invasions and robberies.  Most recently a Detroit youth accused of home invasion just last week who escaped from police custody in Grosse Pointe Park and two young teens who were robbed at gunpoint while enjoying a nice early morning walk on a Sunday morning.  Now I know Grosse Pointe isn't well known for it's dramatic police situations but when you have a K9 unit and multiple police on the ground going through backyards, I have to say that it was a dramatic police situation. If there's a manhunt going on in your backyard, shouldn't you be notified about it if you took the time to sign up for alerts for exactly this reason?  The police always say that we are the best deterrent of crimes because we know what's suspicious and what doesn't belong.  Had the alert gone out when the manhunt was in progress, a few hundred extra eyes looking out for the suspect probably could have gone a long way and he might not have escaped back into the Detroit abyss.  About six months ago I took the time to sign up for the Nixel Alert service so that I could be warned when there's an immanent danger in my community.  I am a Grosse Pointe Farms resident and the only alert i've had thus far is about leaf collection.  Am I to believe there hasn't been anything going on in my community for the last six months?  What about all of the home invasions over the summer, all of which were within a half mile of my home.  Why didn't I get an alert about the robbery on Lakeland which is six blocks from my home?  Being that I am a father of a 16 month old, I would of liked to have known that there is a giant gun wielding criminal on the street before I decided to take him on a Sunday morning stroll through what I thought was a safe community.I know police can't be everywhere at once which is why the Nixel system is so important.  The citizens are your eyes and ears when you can't be there.  If I should be looking for someone who is dangerous, let me know what he looks like and where he might be so that I can take precautions.  I don't need my family outside enjoying the day when there's someone on the loose with a gun.When the Chief of Police in Grosse Pointe City gave his reasoning why there wasn't a Nixel alert sent out, his reply was they sent it out Monday night.  That's great and all but that's 36 hours too late and quite frankly it's inexcusable.  He also said the cop who usually sends them out was off duty.  Well, maybe the police should delegate that duty to someone else who is on duty.  The excuse he gave really rubbed me the wrong way and if I've learned anything from it, it's that there is a complete incompetence in our police agencies.  The Police and City Managers work for us, are paid by us and should be held accountable by us.  If the current administrations can't perform the job to a level that we expect, then they should be replaced with someone who can do the job.  I want to know when there's danger in my community and I want to know what they're doing to combat this epidemic of home invasions, car thefts and middle of the day robberies involving firearms. There's a thing called technology and i'm pretty sure it's here to stay.  It would be nice if it was used by our police departments since we took the time to sign up for it.   

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Gloria October 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
AMEN! It seems so simple... everyone in the police department should be cross trained to keep the Nixel Alert System current with UP TO THE MINUTE information! Thanks for your post and there is NO EXCUSE for not using this technology.
Joseph Sucher October 22, 2012 at 09:10 PM
I certainly agree with you. The PSO's are doing a good job on the ground. It's the decisions made over their heads that may be the problem. Harper Woods uses NIXEL quite often, not shying away from publishing the truth. I guess if bad news is not reported, the image is not tarnished. How sad.
Chris K October 22, 2012 at 09:17 PM
You make excellent points in your article and with a 16 month old in the house we certainly would like you to believe your child lives in a safe community. I would simply add to what you say that the city managers in the Grosse Pointes work at the pleasure of the respective city councils. The city councils are elected and serve at the voters pleasure. Residents need to make their dissatisfaction heard at this level because going to the bureaucrats will not necessarily get action.
paul October 22, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Thanks for your input.The Pointes used to be the last place you wanted to commit a crime.Not anymore.It's not the fault of the police either.They do what they can.It's poor leadership not willing to send a clear message no matter what it takes.A drop in taxes is no reason to avoid the facts.There is plenty to cut other than public safety.Why move or live here otherwise.Put police at every city corner.Undercover,on bikes,walking,anything.Demand stores like Kroger and C.V.S. provide protection too.They earn record profits yearly.Many people I know carry guns when they walk now.That is a shame.
Frank K October 23, 2012 at 09:57 PM
We live in the Park and unfortunately we have the same problem with out police department. If there is a home invasion in the neighborhood very often one of the residents will send out a blast email so we can look out for the suspect. It is a real shame the police chooses to keep citizens in the dark rather than work with us.
Phil October 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Doesn’t the police department have a dispatcher? Wouldn’t it be easy for this person after they put out the call to the patrol officers to update Nixel? They wouldn’t need to update every situation, but only the ones that could cause harm to the citizens, or where they could use the extra eyes

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