Activist group in Harrisburg seeing positive results

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An activist group says its tactic of taking on crime in Harrisburg without relying on police is already working.

CSRA Help spokesman Woody Merry said fliers that will be distributed around Harrisburg will include information about surveillance efforts and how to get involved in the group.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
CSRA Help spokesman Woody Merry said fliers that will be distributed around Harrisburg will include information about surveillance efforts and how to get involved in the group.


From today to Monday, 1,000 two-sided, informational fliers are to be dispersed around the most troublesome areas in the Augusta neighborhood, including Pearl Avenue and Hicks Street. It is one step of many that are expected to be met with positive feedback, according to CSRA Help spokesman Woody Merry.

One side of the flier will have information about CSRA Help, including dates and times of self-defense classes and an agenda of events. It will also give information about surveillance efforts by the group and how to get involved. On the other side of the flier will be a statement that reads, “Had enough? We have,” and a reminder about the slaying of Anthony Dewayne King, who was shot during an attempted carjacking in the 700 block of Craw­ford Avenue in August, and a kidnapping that ended on Tuttle Street in September, Merry said.

“We want crim­inals to know they are being watched,” he said. “We can do some things that law enforcement can’t.”

In an e-mail to the group Wednesday, Augusta Properties, which owns property in the area, posted an emergency notice to all residents in the area to remind them they are responsible for any guests on their property, whether or not they are invited. The note stemmed from a shooting Tuesday night that injured two people on Pearl Avenue.

In the e-mail, Eric Blackwell, of Augusta Properties, said that the people shot didn’t live in the household where the incident occurred and that he will be filing an eviction notice to the apartment that had guests involved.

“We as usual take a stand against crime and lease violations. We are all on top of this issue, and thanks for your support,” the e-mail said.

Merry said it is not the first time the group has gotten a response from property owners that spurs action. He said the group is actively working with owners to get problem households evicted.

“Anytime a property owner is proactive with their tenants is good,” said Richmond County
sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay. “From a law enforcement perspective, it’s always best to have law-abiding citizens at the property.”

Gay said having people in neighborhoods who are paying attention and are willing to talk to police is good. Groups such as CSRA Help are welcome so long as they do not try to be “vigilantes,” Gay said.

Merry said CSRA Help will not sit back and watch neighborhoods fall apart at the hands of drug dealers and other criminals. On Tuesday, the group cut down a known “drug tree” in Harrisburg.

CSRA Help is teaming up with a few retired special forces members who are helping them set up surveillance, he said, another project which has already seen positive feedback. He said a neighborhood woman told him she was used to hearing gunshots every night. On Thursday, her street was silent.

“She thanked me,” he said. “People around here know it’s working.”

Gay said he hoped the group is consulting a lawyer about the surveillance tactics. He said residents are allowed to set up cameras to protect their property, but cannot use them to spy on other people.

CSRA Help will hold a self-defense class at the Harrisburg Life Center at 10 a.m. today.

“We’re going to be more aware, more alert,” Merry said. “We are going to take out the fear factor. We want people to know they don’t have to take this.”

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Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 11/10/12 - 10:00 am
2
6
Four Words

Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman.

JRC2024
9309
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JRC2024 11/10/12 - 10:11 am
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1
RA, let those drug dealers

RA, let those drug dealers and section 8ers move into your area and I bet you would not be so liberal. They bring down everything they get next to or around. Never mind that they will steal you blind.

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 11/10/12 - 10:30 am
0
0
Applause. Applause !!!!
Unpublished

Until the ARC police department places this area on a list of priority we see the same old repeat story. Until this area is a "no roaches welcome zone" for taxpayer provided police protection, it is a game. A game the roaches know how to play. They hide in the dark. The litter their feces. They reproduce. Protect and Serve. Not react and clean up the blood.

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 11/10/12 - 10:37 am
1
0
All of the citizens of Harrisburg or
Unpublished

for that matter Cherry Tree have aright to security within the person and property. What does the RCSO do? Direct traffic? We have stats that they answer a lot of calls? Where are the stats on arrests in Harrisburg?

It is tough love, but you cannot invite lawless people into your neighborhood via flop house, soup kitchens, one stop entitlement services and expect any different. Dispersing the roaches only increases the number and influence.

You can have a central location for "meeting the basic needs" that works. Believe me, they will find it. If you give it away for free, they will come. Bus, neighbor, friend, relative, walking, bicycle or by thumb.
These duplicitous ego centers, "look what I AM doing for the less fortunate" is counter productive.

soapy_725
43772
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soapy_725 11/10/12 - 10:40 am
1
0
And of course, you must
Unpublished

condemn the SIN and not the SINNER. These are fellow human beings who choose to be antisocial. They must be reprogrammed. They conduct themselves like little children, so put them in a monitoring facility.

Riverman1
87064
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Riverman1 11/10/12 - 11:15 am
6
0
This would be an excellent

This would be an excellent neighborhood and situation for Sheriff Roundtree to begin his community policing efforts. Imagine the effect of him going down there to speak to all the residents with a dozen police cars accompanying him. It could be dramatic and effective.

Conservative Man
5577
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Conservative Man 11/10/12 - 12:50 pm
4
2
RA....

....better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six.....

Bulldog
1333
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Bulldog 11/10/12 - 02:20 pm
2
2
Vigilantes

This word has gotten a bad name from constant misuse. I am and will continue to be one of those who are vigilant. We could use a few more who are willing to step up and speak out. The sheriff has and will continue to get as much information as we can pass to him. We will not be intimidated by scum! We are watching and recording... We have a message for all drug dealers and the rest of the scum; Get Out of Town!

Fiat_Lux
15913
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/10/12 - 05:04 pm
3
1
The only problem with surveillance cameras...

is that in ObamaNation, the people who will be watched are the ones going to church or prayer meetings, or the ones marching in protest on the sidewalk in front of Planned Non-Parenthood.

You must remember that drug dealers and their lackeys and enablers are part of the protected class of citizens, while those trying to save the lives of their poor unborn children are the new enemy in our brave new Amerika.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 11/10/12 - 04:32 pm
2
1
Fiat has a point. Criminals

Fiat has a point. Criminals ARE the protected these days.

Will
75
Points
Will 11/10/12 - 05:37 pm
4
2
Learn the difference...
Unpublished

Vigilantism is going out and seeking people with intent to do bodily harm. Watching, following without malicious intent is serveilance. A person can verbally confront someone who is suspicious or "up to no good"; there's no law against that. If the person being questioned becomes agitated and starts approaching or reaching for a weapon, deadly force can be used. This is the very reason nothing has been done about Zimmerman, Retired Army; he did the right thing. Deal with it....

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