Lewiston police reach out to the community

LEWISTON — Lewiston police Sgt. Marc Robitaille will not help you get rid of skulking skunks. But at a noontime event Friday at Pleasant View Acres on Fairmount Street promoting community policing, he said he and other Lewiston cops would be happy to assist with other issues residents had.

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Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Lewiston police officer Bill Rousseau visits with Pleasant View Acres resident Oteria Dowell during a get-acquainted pizza party with residents of the complex on Friday. Lewiston police Sgt Marc Robitaille said it was an opportunity to talk to the residents about any safety concerns they may have. Dowell is holding her 1-month-old granddaughter Eliza Dowell.

“We had a meeting with the property management company (for the apartments) and we agreed to throw a party to meet with residents,” Robitaille said. “This is a better setting for residents to talk about problems.”

One man asked Robitaille if there was anything he could do about a skunk that was getting into his trash at night. The officer chuckled and said, “Nope, sorry.”

About 50 residents, mostly children, blew bubbles, played with balloons and ate pizza in the complex's playground.

“We want to try getting people together and ultimately we are hoping some people in the community will take the lead in organizing a neighborhood group,” Robitaille said. “They're the stakeholders and we want to help them deal with concerns about improving the quality of life and making this a safe place for children.”

Katelin Tabor, compliance manager for Propsys Management Co., which manages the Hillview Apartments complex, said her company sponsored the event, paying for the food and balloons.

“It's a good chance for the tenants to come together. Their opinion matters — this is their home,” she said. “We have a good turnout, with lots of kids. That's where it starts.”

Tabor said domestic disputes are the most frequent problem in the community.

“It's usually conflicts within one family, as opposed to neighbors fighting,” she said.

Carrie McCormick, the property manager for the apartments, said her company wants the residents to feel important and know that they are all members of the community.

Both said the high turnover rate in the affordable housing community contributes to the difficulty in creating a culture of belonging.

Resident Keon Shepard said he's happy to see more police outreach, but many other residents are not.

“A lot of people told me they wouldn't come today, to what they called a 'snitch party,'" he said. “The community needs to stay together. We have a lot of kids and having police around, I don't think it's a bad thing. A lot of us don't have much, but the least we can do is give our kids a safe community.”

Shepard said this summer is already an improvement over last year, when people were frequently drunk and getting into fights.

Robitaille said the outreach was part of a renewed emphasis on community policing launched by Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere. Similar events will be held at other apartment complexes and in downtown Lewiston, he said.

rmetzler@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Dan Moody's picture

LEWISTON

LEWISTON is no longer Lewiston .. MONEY IF LEWISTON CAN GET MONEY LOOK TO THE REFUGEES TO HELP. LEWISTON HAS BEEN GOING DOWN HILL FOR A VERY LONG TIME . I AM SORRY TO SAY THAT BUT ???? I DON'T KNOW IF IT IS TOO LATE TO TAKE BACK LEWISTON . GOOD LUCK

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Well this is the 2nd article

Well this is the 2nd article on community policing/action groups....one for PVA and one for the complex formally known as Tall Pines....There have also been many meetings at Hillview in which the meetings become accusatory or a gripe session. The tenants do not get along, the police cannot control the meetings, and issues are not really addressed. The police would like to include the residents of Rideout Avenue as some issues involve them as well. As good an idea as this may sound, a lot of work needs to be done within Hillview, as well as other apartment complexes, before surrounding areas are included. One of the major road blocks is lack of communication because of a language barrier. There are also many cultural differences that need to be addressed. Just because it is my belief that my child not be allowed to run wherever he may want to, doesn't mean that is the way other parents choose to raise their children. However, as parents, we are all responsible for our children's actions and they need to realize there are consequences to their actions. Until the housing projects can deal with the issues within each project, there will be no resolution to any of the issues facing residents of housing projects or their surrounding neighborhoods. Maybe the state and/or the federal government should be throwing their money towards educating people as to what is expected of them. Catholic Charities brought a large number of refugees to this country and yet where is Catholic Charities now, certainly not dealing with the disrespect, rudeness, opinions of entitlement, or bullying that is currently a major issue within this city. We all need to get along but that gets more difficult with each passing day when some seem to think the world owes them or that they can do whatever they choose to with no consequences. And maybe instead of everyone being on different pages they should try getting everyone on the same page...i.e. all police officers doing the same thing, all landlords being consistent, and all residents knowing what is expected and what the consequences will be for not doing what they are suppose to do.

Laurie Bryant's picture

Tired, you are paranoid

Tired, you need to get your paranoia in check or stop whatever you are doing that will eventually get you in trouble with the law.

Laurie Bryant's picture

uh, OK

Well, put on your seatbelt and you will have one less thing to get you in trouble with all the monsters that are out to get you!!! Last time I knew, it is the law to wear a seatbelt. Better yet, I dont want to have to be that future ER doc to have to sew your silly butt back together when you get ejected from the car after an accident (um, that is, if you live to tell about it). Funny thing---wearing your seatbelt protects YOU and keep those "malingering" cops off your back. Sounds like a win-win situation, eh?

I could care less about your dirty secrets. Hopefully that does not offend you. I agree, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be left alone, but dont give people reason to bother you!!!

It is not "illegal" to be stopped for a broken lights on a car. You need to get over yourself.

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