Aw, yeah! RPD brought out the battering ram for the last remaining drug house on my street last Friday, and rounded up the dealer and his cousin for PWID (possession with intent to distribute) amongst other things.
For years, neighbors have been giving information to the RPD concerning this house and others associated with it. Finally, a shooting that occurred at a connected house (and a related shootout that spilled onto a main road the next day) in November seems to have sped up the process of bringing the drug ring to court (http://northrichmondnews.com/news/2010/08/29/police-name-suspects-in-montrose-shooting/). I will definitely be sending a letter to the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ office regarding the case. Interestingly, the nearby crackheads have been in a bad mood all weekend (not making this up).
RPD’s Special Investigation Division has been working on the worst block in our neighborhood for some time. Two houses were declared nuisance properties, and multiple indictments have been served. The block in question is just behind a Burger King on Chamberlayne and always had a longer drive-thru line than the BK. Just a few of the houses kept that block in horrible shape (and unsafe). With that block cleared, all of the neighborhood’s internal blocks are not only safe, but liveable.
I’ve made a point of jogging the perimeter of our neighborhood when I have the time to go for a run. The perimeter consists of two rundown commercial corridors that can appear less than safe (most of the time, it’s just the appearance and not the actuality). I should note that my jogging has been dubbed “the senior shuffle” and is probably more pathetic than impressive. But, I feel I am making a statement (marking the territory, if you will) that I have no fear of my streets or whomever may be on them.
Not sure if this driver’s easy escape was supposed to be the responsibility of the Virginia State or Richmond Police: http://www.wtvr.com/news/wtvr-richmond-man-leads-state-polic-111410,0,3144702.story
Things have been a little hairy this month in our city. After a remarkably calm spring and summer, criminals seem to suddenly have a reason to act again. There have been a few shootings (including shootouts) in Northside this past month, which is very unusual. There must be more to the story of the recent spike in violent/personal crime, but I run in the wrong circles to be “in” on that information.
As someone who can only purchase liquor, cigarettes, or a prostitute’s services within walking distance, I live in a food desert. Each weekend, my husband and I drive to the suburbs to get our groceries for the week. I would love to be paying sales tax within my city, but it isn’t possible. We have a big building only a few blocks from us that would make an excellent mid-size grocery. Maybe in 20 years it will finally be a reality…
Thanks, John, for staying on top of Richmond’s changes.
My family dropped into Richmond in 1994. I now live very close to where we first rented. Unlike in 1994, a gunshot is an unusual happening. Richmond was a scary place to many people in the 90s. For a couple years, I volunteered feeding the homeless with Pennies for Heaven (now shut down) every weekend. Okay, I’ll admit I was twelve, and I was partially in it for the free Krispy Kremes at the end of the “shift.” We went to a few parks, and some very eerie parking lots. I remember my dad telling me not to wander past the parking lot edges. The adults instructed a friend and me to drop if we ever heard a shot. At one particular lot, houses without windows or utilities loomed around, and women and children would file out of unknown doors in the dead of winter to take armfulls of whatever could be grabbed. Men mostly rode up on bikes, rank with the smell of alcohol and urine. As a kid, I only felt pity for the other kids, who had no choice or even an idea of what life was like across a bridge, or highway that divided “them” from kids safe in warm houses. I’ve driven past many of these areas since and, even in the most blighted areas, there is not nearly the same level of despair that I clearly remember from my first few years in this city.