Reported by Stan Penkin
“Thank you so much,” said a toothless homeless woman sitting on a North Park Block bench as the Friends of the Pearl Foot Patrol walked through the area picking up litter along the way. Initiated a little more than a year ago, the Foot Patrol was established through collaboration between the PDNA Livability Committee and the Crime Prevention Program at the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
The group now has some 30 members with as many as eight to ten community minded volunteers showing up in their colorful vests or tee shirts for three weekly patrols at different times of the week. The purpose of the patrol is to randomly walk the district and act as eyes and ears observing inappropriate or criminal behavior, and to also act as ambassadors for the neighborhood. The Foot Patrol is trained to be non confrontational and instead to report illegal behavior to the Police Bureau. The foot patrollers have more recently expanded its efforts to include picking up and disposing of trash.
Members are heartened by the warm reception and appreciation expressed by many people as its presence becomes more and more visible and comforting to the neighborhood. Any one over eighteen years of age is welcome to join the Foot Patrol. There is no commitment other than showing up for a walk when you can after having gone through a periodically scheduled training session.
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