You can’t build a city up by trashing its reputation any more than you can build a marriage by trashing your spouse.
Channel 4’s piece on the “rash of west Belleville burglaries” on June 8, was not only half the story; it was old news. And at least one of the three citizens interviewed doesn’t even live in west Belleville, which traditionally has the lowest crime stats in the city.
The perpetrators of the burglaries on the west end of Belleville during the six months ending May 9, 2016, have been arrested and charged, most in record time. And the people who were housing any of those individuals are being charged and/or petitioned, are in the process of being evicted, or have already been evicted. But Channel 4 didn’t mention that.
For things to get even better in Belleville, we need working families moving into the city. We need our elders to stay and keep vigil over our neighborhoods, particularly during the day. And we need healthy economic development. To that end, we need the city’s dirty laundry aired on television like we need a hole in our municipal head. Anyone who proclaims themselves a leader of any city should know that.
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We’ll come back stronger and wiser from our losses this year, not afraid. We don’t live in fear. We’re not victims. And we don’t run from our problems.
Crime doesn’t define us. We’re tough. That’s what defines the West End.
Alex McHugh, Preident Pro-Tem, Top Of The Hill Community Association - West Belleville