By David Piestrzynski
Special to The Review
Hamtramck is on the watch for crime.
Last Thursday evening, a town hall meeting was held at People’s Community Services to discuss the Hamtramck Citizens Patrol (HCP), an organization of volunteers who assist the Hamtramck Police in crime prevention.
The meeting, which was sponsored by the Hamtramck Community Initiative (HCI), Weed and Seed and the South End Block Club, covered HCP’s goals and offered citizens more information on becoming a volunteer.
“If we don’t take care of our neighborhood, nobody else will come from outside to help,” said Arif Huskic, South End Block Club president. “Let’s make Hamtramck better together.”
The mission of the HCP is to help law enforcement by acting as the eyes and ears of the community.
Volunteers patrol Hamtramck’s neighborhoods reporting suspicious activity to the police.
All HCP volunteers patrol unarmed and cannot make arrests. Ron Orr, the HCI community policing chairman and a certified HCP volunteer, said that as economic struggles continue more people are likely to become desperate and commit crimes.
This raises the importance of a community patrol to assist police.
“We know we can make an impact on this city,” Orr said.
The HCP is open to all law-abiding citizens. To join you must be at least 18 years old.
All applicants are subject to a background check by the Hamtramck Police Department and must undergo a training program.
Also in attendance for the meeting was Hamtramck Police Chief Marek Kalinowski, who offered the HCP his full support.
“I can’t wait to see it work,” he said of the HCP.
Several citizens who spoke at the town hall meeting have completed the training course to become HCP volunteers.
Among them were Huskic, Orr, V HCP secretary Vera Burke, HCI/Weed and Seed community organizer Raphael Thurin, and HCI Site Director Barbara Stachowski.
“Hamtramck is united to fight together,” Stachowski said.
Even if you don’t have time to become an HCP volunteer, you can still do your part in taking care of the community.
For example, many Hamtramck homeowners and businesses may see graffiti at or near their residences or stores.
According to Stachowski, this graffiti could be gang-related vandalism that contains information about their activities.
So it could be helpful to inform the Hamtramck Police before cleaning or painting over it.
For more information on becoming an HCP volunteer, contact (989) 992-6278 or HamtramckBlockClubs@gmail.com.