A Sunset Hills resident complained about motorists parking on the no-parking side of his street at a neighborhood meeting with city police this week.
His timing was perfect, Sgt. Rick VonRohr replied. The city’s new parking enforcement officer started work this week and will get right on the case.
Another man from the police department’s District 3 patrol area thinks the city doesn’t move fast enough to trim grass and kill weeds on residential-area traffic islands. The Streets Department will be informed, said Chief John Dossey.
A third couple said they’ve had no problems with kids ringing their doorbell and peering through their windows since they brought that complaint in March to the department’s first Community and Police Problem Solving (CAPPS) meeting for the southeast side district.
Dossey and VonRohr smiled. Another problem apparently solved through CAPPS.
They’re small ones. Dossey knocked on the wood of a City Council Chambers desk to ward off a jinx when he observed the district had a quiet spring of crime.
That trend is more likely to continue, he said, if city residents pass on even small concerns, through the quarterly CAPPS meetings and more immediately by calling the department.
“That’s the purpose of this dialogue, to be informed,” Dossey told the four people who attended the meeting Wednesday evening.
“Don’t be afraid to call” the department’s dispatch center at 346-3132 about seemingly minor matters, he said. Each call — about a person looking inside parked cars, music blaring from passing vehicles, stop signs ignored — is logged, allowing the department to build information and detect trends needing attention, Dossey said.
The department’s 911 service remains for emergencies, he said.
The small turnout marked a trend in itself, he said, as the CAPPS program for the department’s five patrol districts enters the second of its series of four yearly meetings. After larger audiences attended the first meetings in March, the second for Districts 1 and 2 last week saw one person attend.
“They’ll pick up again,” said Dossey, who introduced the program he saw in other communities before he became Pekin’s chief in October 2015.
The next scheduled CAPPS meetings, all at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall: Districts 1 and 2, Aug. 16; District 3, Aug. 2; and Districts 4 and 5, Aug. 8.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin