Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Do You Mean I Can't Have a Big Mac?

There were 2 days of precinct orientation in total. The second day was to familiarize us with the precinct itself, what the issues were, what the crimes were, where they mostly occurred and the like.

Pretty much it was everything was going on everywhere. We were leading the city in shootings and were second in homicides, or was it we were leading the city in homicides and were second in shootings? I'm not sure if it really made a difference, but the sergeant that was talking sure seemed proud of the fact. That in and of itself should have scared me, but what I found more unsettling was the following facts.

The Four-Two did not have the following within the confines of it's precinct boundaries:

- a single parking meter

- a single, national fast food restaurant (unless you counted the White Castle on our western border)

- a single bank

What that list meant is that the neighborhood was beyond poor. Wikipedia lists the congressional district that covers it as one of the 5 poorest in the country today. Back in the mid 90's, it was poorer, and we were in the epicenter of it all.

Empty lots strewn with building rubble would sit opposite 20 story tall Public Housing Projects.

When we were told we had over 50 different public housing locations, ranging from 9 stories to 21 stories, I didn't grasp the significance. I had no previous experience with public housing. That would change shortly.

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