Minutes of Shooting Meeting
On Thursday evening August 19th about 200 residents from San Tan Heights assembled to find out where the investigation is on the shooting in San Tan Community Park on August 7th. Guest speakers were:
- Lt. Doug Brown and Detective Mark Guemes with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
- Rob Wise – president of the San Tan Heights Homeowners Association
- Doug Ewen who leads the Posse program
- Jeff and Arline Studley – coordinators for San Tan Heights Community Watch
Due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing there were few exacting details that could be discussed. However there were many items that could be discussed.
INCREASE IN PATROLS
- After learning of the shooting we called Lt. Brown and asked what could be done for increased patrols. Lt. Brown met and exceeded our expectations and said we would have increased patrols through the 28th of August from 5 – 10 pm.
- Noting that ending at 10 pm may not be enough, we contacted Pat Prince with COPS (Citizens On Patrol) and asked for coverage around the hours that the PCSO would be here.
- San Tan Heights Homeowners Association already has the Posse under contract for patrols. There are five Posse members assigned to this area.
- We have marked and unmarked cars in the area.
VICTIM AND SHOOTER
- They are part of two groups from Chandler.
- The groups have not been heard of before from the Chandler and Gilbert Police Departments.
- This was not a random act.
- “The victim was probably asking for it” – Lt. Brown
- These two groups do not get along.
- The PCSO knows who they are looking for, it’s just a matter of investigation and fact finding to uncover the suspect(s).
- Where these two groups come from the area is known for robbery and assaults.
- They have not been seen in this area since the shooting.
- The victim isn’t being cooperative with the investigation.
The president of our HOA, Rob Wise, spoke on what your homeowners association has been doing to stem some of the problems we are having. Since the shooting occurred in a park Rob addressed the issue of lighting plus the need to get involved.
- We have installed dusk to dawn solar lights in the ramadas.
- The HOA is pricing perimeter lights for the walls of San Tan and Mountain Vista Community Parks as well as the basketball courts in those parks.
- The HOA has a reward policy for up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone damaging community property.
- We’ve used this reward system before. If you remember last holiday season there was a dumpster of Christmas trees set afire. After that happened Arline and I approached the HOA about putting up a reward for this instance. It was ok’d and the next morning Arline, myself and Warren Arlblaster scraped the peeling paint fron the dumpster, painted the reward offer on it for all to see. I think it was two days and we had the name and address of a suspect who was later convicted for this. The family then had to pay for the damage to the dumpster, damage to the surrounding grass and trees plus the pavement which was melted in the parking lot. It works.
- There is a zero tolerance for graffiti. If you see it report it at once. Our policy is to get it down as soon as it goes up. Taggers will not come back if their “work” is taken down and no one sees it.
San Tan Heights Community Watch
Did we have a bad crime occur here in San Tan Heights? Yes. Up until the week of July 23rd our calls to the PCSO averaged around 10 or 11 calls per week. Not too bad for a community this size. But the shear nature of this crime really highlights how susceptible our community is to the realities of crime in the time we live in.
But crime only goes where crime feels safe. That’s where we as a community have failed. If criminals feel a place is “hot” they will not enter. And that’s the message we need to send.
Arline and I put out a call for more active people to participate in your Block Watch program. These extra patrols will one day end. Right now San Tan Heights is “hot” and who ever did this knows it. We as a community need to send the message that after the patrols are gone, San Tan Heights is still “hot” and will remain so.
Let’s keep San Tan Heights Hot. Here is how you can help your community:
- We need more Block Captains to organize neighborhoods.
- We can put you in contact with a Block Captain in your area. Just let us know where you live and if there is one close by we can connect you.
- Do not stop going to the parks, they are there for you. If you don’t feel comfortable, go in groups.
- If you see something suspicious, call it in. If you see someone suspicious and you feel safe, walk up and say hello. If they are up to no good they realize they have been seen.
- If you didn’t get one at the meeting, here is a link to the document Inform_Empower_Action. It’s a resident guide to a stronger and more cohesive community. It’s not the answer, but it’s a good place to start.
Most crimes in this area are committed by amateurs and are crimes of opportunity. Decrease the opportunity and you decrease the chance you will become a victim.
Please come to our next Block Watch meeting. We will have an ADT rep present and they are offering discounts for San Tan Heights residents. The discounts depend on the system you order.
You can click on the Meeting tab for location and time.