Community Crime Profile Survey Essay

This essay has a total of 2466 words and 15 pages.

Community Crime Profile Survey

Community Profile Questions

The small community of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ is the one square mile home to a
comparatively tiny population of approximately 7,600 people, including myself. I live on a
residential street of this small suburban town where a great threat of danger and harm has
never really been associated with its name. The crime rate on the city-data.com crime
index is a minute 35.6 when compared to the U.S. average of 330.6. In the year of 2002
Wood-Ridge did not experience any murders, rapes, or robberies, and only 1 assault, 35
larceny counts, and 7 auto thefts. This is the main reason why all parties who were
surveyed either felt very safe or somewhat safe living their lives in this neighborhood
and believe crime has either decreased or stayed the same. All parties surveyed also rated
the following services from acceptable to excellent: ambulance, cable television, electric
utilities, fire, gas, phone, and police. Then when surveyed about police more closely the
answers only varied from good to excellent, with most answers in the excellent range. I
found this survey relatively easy to perform. My town issues a small phone book of all
persons living in town and I drew names at random and surveyed whoever was willing to
offer their time. I surveyed five people ages 18-29, one person age 30-39, seven people
ages 40-49, six people ages 50-59, and two people over 69 years of age. Seventeen of these
people were male and only four were female, 100% of which was Caucasian. Two parties
resided in apartments, while nineteen lived in a house. Eighteen families owned the
residence they lived in and three rented, and obviously 100% of them have telephones in
their homes. Of the parties surveyed, thirteen had full-

time jobs, three were self-employed, one was a student, one was unemployed, and three
parties were retired. The five most predominant problems exemplified from this survey were
the amount of youths that are hanging out on the streets, the use of alcohol, along with
the use of drugs, traffic violations, and vandalism. Throughout this summary, these
problems will become more detailed with possible solutions requiring efforts from a
majority of the community, including the PTA, church organizations, local media, and
everyday people that take part in this neighborhood.

The first problem in this community that got the most responses and side comments were the
amount of youths there are roaming the streets on the weekends or summer nights. Residents
feel that the youths hanging out is just a brewing pot for trouble. This problem can be
fixed by many members of the community with one major idea, give the kids something to do!
The town already has in place what is referred to as "Teen Nights," held by the Hasbrouck
Heights Recreation Commission. The problem with these "Teen Nights" is that it involves a
minute amount of the teens in this area. It involves only 7th and 8th graders. What about
the high schoolers? They're the ones who get bored most easily. To resolve this problem,
the need for community support is at its peak. If different organizations would pitch in
and sponsor some special nights for the teens to get together, there would be fewer nights
for kids to roam the streets. The churches could pitch in by opening up their basements,
for a few nights throughout the year and hold different functions, like dances or have
guest speakers or comedians. The YMCA program that is offered to children in the
elementary school could be expanded to the twelfth grade, not only providing a place for
youth to go, but a place where they can

be active. Also local restaurants can hold such things as a dinner dance every once in a
while only expecting a small fee in return. Another place that could be rented out for
teens can be the halls where Knights of Columbus, the VFW, or the Elks club resides.
Another predominant group who can become involved are the parents, also known as the PTA.
They may be able to hold lock-ins, where all the teens stay overnight in the high school
with different activities going on, or they can hold youth nights, which have kind of the
same idea only they don't have to stay overnight. All of these groups or even your average
Joe can voice their opinions for different activities for kids by emailing the Recreation
Commission at hhrecreation@ HasbrouckHeights.com, or they can go to the towns open to
public meetings held on the first and second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. and 7:30
p.m.

The second problem this town runs into is alcohol use. Alcohol use is problem seen
throughout ages from teen to elderly. To find or seek help for this problem, one can call
many different places. First there is a 24 hour hotline that can be reached through a
phonebook. The number to the hotline is 1-800-245-1377. Also one can look in the county
phonebook and call the municipal building in Hackensack, NJ for local numbers and areas of
counseling or help. This number is 201-488-8680. The person who you speak to can point you
in the direction of different locations for free and anonymous counseling like Alcoholics
Anonymous. These locations are churches around the area. Another thing is that the person
does not even have to call anyone. They can just stop by a local church to seek guidance.
One way or another someone is there to help.


The third problem is one similar to the previous problem but at the same a time a
completely different problem in itself. The problem is drug use. Drug use in this town
does not seem to be predominant with adults, but more with teens and early twenties.
Again, like Alcoholics Anonymous, they have Narcotics Anonymous. This is another type of
group counseling that is held at local churches and can be found out the same way that AA
is.

The next types of services are targeted at both alcohol and drug use. At the local
hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center, they have a program called Quest. One can
reach this facility at 201-996-5994. This program is a dual diagnostic program that
involves aid in the recovery of drug use when accompanied by sometime of mental or
psychological disability. To ensure that people and residents of this community have full
access to all of the sources of help and guidance, the media should intervene. If dates of
meetings, hotline numbers, and places where people can go were more publicly distributed
more people would go because they would not have to go through the process of finding
help, it would be right in front of there face. Having ready reminders of these programs
may also cease denial. If someone is never given the idea that they might have a problem,
it might never faze them to even have that thought enter their mind. Media is the most
powerful and sufficient way to broadcast information, and with increased knowledge of
places for help, the problems of alcohol use and drug use can be minimized.

The fourth problem faced by the community of Hasbrouck Heights is the amount of traffic
violations that take place day to day. These include speeding, lack of signaling,
insufficient stops at stop signs, and things not as well known as putting on your
headlights while windshield wipers are in use or that passing is illegal in the right
lane. Already in action is the law that with repeated offenses one must take courses at
the local DMV to be permitted to drive again, but what about those offenders who are not
caught, or are let off one too many times? To enhance the community's awareness of traffic
violations, new and old, the community should have government sponsored traffic courses.
These courses should have a mandatory amount of attendances, followed by a yearly
examination testing one's knowledge of traffic codes and laws. Also since laws change
and/or are made so frequently, these changes should be posted publicly. The council could
send around newsletters or put it in the local newspaper, ours being "The Independent."
This way people will know all the new or changed laws, and do not have the excuse of,
"Well I was never informed of that."

Last but not least there is the problem of vandalism. Drawing on public property, breaking
public property, damaging personal property, or even something as small as writing your
name in cement that's not on your property are all forms of vandalism. One way to limit
the amount of vandalism is to always a have an eye on the community. In better terms, form
a community crime watch, which by the results of this survey most people either do not
know of one, or know there is not one in place. Also the majority of people surveyed would
be interested in participating in such a program. Not only is this a way to keep the
streets safe and clean, different members of the community will be working together and
forming a bond that can make Hasbrouck Heights stronger. Also, people surveyed feel that a
lot of the vandalism can be traced back to the youths hanging out. That is where their
idea of hanging out as being a brewing pot for trouble comes into play. Kids are bored
walking around, who wouldn't want to let the community know that so and so was here and
this date, or that John loves Jody? It's not like Old man Smith is out there writing that
stuff on the park's gazebo. By giving kids a place to go, they won't be given the
opportunity to vandalize, and everything else can be kept under control by the crime
watch.

From participating in this survey many residents of Hasbrouck Heights have been given a
chance to think about the different problems that occur in this small town. They are also
given the chance to be thankful that the more dangerous crimes like murder and rape are
essentially non-existent, and residents can feel safe. By doing this survey people will
hopefully begin to reach out and become ready to face these problems and lend a helping
hand to their fellow neighbors. All of the groups and organizations that were named as a
way to support the effort of fighting these problems can be reached through the various
people I have surveyed, because as a benefit if being in a small community you always know
someone who is involved in some kind of group. I hope that these changes can some come
into effect and that this survey really opened peoples' eyes to the members and happenings
in their community, because I know it opened mine.









Survey Results:
DEMOGRAPHICS

Age: Under 18 -- 0 Gender: Male -- 17
18-29 -- 5 Female -- 4
30-39 -- 1
40-49 -- 7
50-59 -- 6
60-69 -- 0
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