Today C.W. Nevius has a column on the latest, scariest crime to hit Glen Park: the carefully planned robbery last Friday night of Buddies Market, and the brutal, gratuitous attack on the store’s owner, Paul Park, who survived — just barely.
Glen Park has been subject to a wave of robberies in the past six months, mostly random street muggings. The reasons are obvious to anybody who spends as much time there as I do: BART station, freeway on-ramps, and residents who generally have iPods or laptops with them. Residents, I might add, who are smart enough to hand the goods over without a fight. No wonder predators are drawn to the neighborhood from miles away. Nevius writes of them: “No one knows who they are or where they are coming from.” Technically true, but residents have their suspicions, and unlike Nevius I’ll tell you exactly what they suspect: thanks to BART, the sociopaths living in Oakland and Richmond are right next door. What with the downturn in our economy, it’s likely that this is a problem that won’t go away.
The solution to this problem is obvious: a small number of officers in conspicuous locations in Glen Park during the times of greatest risk, from about 8:30 PM until 1:00 in the morning, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. How difficult could it possibly be to protect the residents of Glen Park from these crimes? Captain Denis O’Leary of the Ingleside station claims his hands are tied, but give me a break. You don’t need to mobilize a riot squad. He has 109 officers. The presence of a single police vehicle parked in the bus stop at Diamond and Chenery, with two officers nearby, from 8:30 PM until 1:00 AM every night, and two more officers conspicuously posted outside the BART station at the same time, should be enough to deter most of these crimes. We’re talking about four officers at most for nine hours a week.
Was a police car posted there last Friday night? Somehow I doubt it. Maybe this isn’t a good long-term solution, but as an emergency measure? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
The Glen Park Merchant’s Association has started a blog so that residents will have a place online to discuss the problem. The president of the association has started a fund where you can make donations to help with Mr. Park’s recovery.
What do you think? Leave a comment here.
[NB: I'm not a resident of Glen Park, but I work there almost every day and know several people in the community.]