Volunteers from the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at Richman Park recently conducted a survey of 263 neighbors, with the goal of gathering data about neighbor concerns. Here is a summary of the results of the survey, compiled by Guadalupe Díaz Lara, Ph.D.
- 83% of the Richman community do not feel safe
- Approximately 30% have seen or experienced some type of theft (auto/home/garage)
- 48% have seen or experienced crimes related to gang activity
- 78% have seen or experienced crimes by the homeless
Major reasons for feeling unsafe:
- Aggressive behaviors and substance misuse by homeless, especially at Richman Park (81%)
- Poor maintenance of public spaces (e.g., bathrooms at Park) and trash/littering (81%)
- Vandalism/Graffiti (79%)
- Insufficient parking (78%)
- Poor lighting (76%)
- Traffic issues and speeding (62%)
- Disorderly conduct (59%) and disorderly conduct by youth (65%)
- Gang activity (54%)
- Theft: auto (43%), garage/home theft (33%)
- Drug use (40%)
- Response time slow and/or lack of response to crimes due to lack of staffing
Many residents do not report crime because of fear of retaliation, language barriers, don’t know how, or they think the police will not respond:
- 41% of residents NEVER report experiencing or seeing crimes, 21% SOMETIMES report experiencing or seeing crimes and only 5% report ALWAYS report experiencing or seeing crimes.
Connections between residents and to the community:
- About 34% of residents feel connected with neighbors and fellow community members (This is feeling connected to about 1 in 3 people)
- Nearly 70% of residents reported want to feel more connected to neighbors and community members
- Even less people feel connected to Fullerton Police Department (25%) and the Center (24.3%)
Monthly observations by community leaders – Eyes and Ears (October 2021 – January 2022):
Eyes & Ears is a monthly report completed by residents that helps us look out for each other in our neighborhood. By tracking and reporting what is happening we are part of the solution.
- Issues that are getting worse:
- Trash and litter in the streets and on public & private properties
- Unsafe/unhealthy behaviors by homeless persons
- Loitering (prostitution, unwanted public behaviors in Richman Park
- Graffiti (gang-related)
- Youth drinking alcohol/smoking marijuana in public spaces
- Not enough parking and unsafe parking behaviors as a result
- City does not enforce parking rules, so streets can’t be cleaned
Interviews with 8 Fullerton Police Officers (Fall 2021). Police agree with the results:
- All police interviewed agree crime is increasing (break-ins, vandalism, car theft, gang activity)
- Increase in homeless and their negative behaviors
- Major things affecting work: budget cuts–less police officers, defunded motorcycle patrol; reduction in detectives; not enough staff to effectively respond to calls; poor lighting in alleys and parks; negative media causing lack of trust of police by the community
What can we do TOGETHER to create a safer Richman Community?
What can residents do to support safety in the community?
- Report crimes consistently
- Train residents on how to use the Fullerton App
- Continue to complete and report using Eyes & Ears survey
- Partners with organizations to bring more activities to Richman Park
- Partners with organizations to advocate for installing a surveillance/monitoring system & better lighting
- Present to City Council & Public Works to bring awareness about safety issues
- Continue to support organizations such as the Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) center
What can the Fullerton Police Department do to support safety in the community?
- Advocate for installing a surveillance/monitor system
- Monitor the surveillance system at the Police Department offices
- Place signs at Richman Park that indicate the park is under surveillance
- Increase patrolling around Richman Park
- Reduce response time
- Advocate for improving lighting around Richman Park
What can Public Works do to support safety in the community?
- Improve lighting in Richman Park and alleys
- Consistently clean Richman Park
- Consistently clean bathrooms at Richman Park
- Attend quarterly community meetings to report on what is Public Words doing and respond to resident comments/questions/concerns.
On May 4, from 5-7pm at Richman Elementary School (700 S Richman Ave, Fullerton), the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods will host a community forum on the results of the survey. To listen to an interview with Richman community leader Egleth Nuncci, listen to the latest episode of the ‘Observing Fullerton’ podcast on Spotify, RSS, or watch the interview on YouTube.
El 4 de mayo, de 5 a 7 pm en la Escuela Primaria Richman (700 S. Richman Ave, Fullerton) El Centro de Vecindarios Saludables organizara un evento comunitario sobre los resultados de la encuesta. Para escuchar una entrevista con la líder de la comunidad de Richman, Egleth Nuncci, consulte el podcast ‘Observing Fullerton’ on Spotify, RSS, o YouTube.
Categories: Local News