Tag Archives: drug abuse

The priest, the parking lot, the stolen mics and my neighborhood


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Our Lady of Czestochowa church – also known as St. Mary’s – is located on Ward Street, in one of Worcester’s poorest inner-city neighborhoods. Rosalie lives right next door!

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Sometimes people who were homeless or struggling with drug addiction hung out by the church’s shrine, located across from the church, at the other end of the church parking lot.

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St. Mary’s was the church of Rosalie’s Polish immigrant grandparents and mom. Rosalie attended CCD classes at the church’s school and walked to mass at St. Mary’s every Saturday night with her mom and two sisters for 17 years! Here she is with her beloved Polish Grandpa on their Lafayette Street back porch. She looks decked out for mass! pics: R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

I say: The cold, proud priest had it coming to him! Jesus said: Be a lamb, be a serpent! The robbery – aka the recent break in, the filching of microphones, the stealing of $, the messing around in the sacristy at St. Mary’s church in lower Vernon Hill – was my inner-city neighborhood being a serpent.

I’ve watched the lead up to this break in at St. Mary’s on Ward Street – the Polish church’s proper name is Our Lady of Czestochowa – from my plant-filled kitchen window (I live in the apartment building next door) …

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… my parking lot, my walks with Jett and Lilac … for almost three years. I’ve heard the stories from my neighbors.

I ain’t no Aesop but here’s the moral of the story:

If you have a church in one of Worcester’s poorest, most drug-infested, gun-choked neighborhoods where the people are often sad, physically or emotionally abused, underemployed/poor, addicted to heroin or alcohol, desperate, hopeless, homeless! – if you are smack dab in the middle of the world that Jesus came to save and loved the most (Jesus said: THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST! THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST!), then you deal with it. Sensitively, if you’re me. Beautifully, compassionately if you’re a priest or a minister. Heck! If you’re a priest like St. Mary’s Rev. Ryszard Polek maybe you should even try ministering to the people! After all, Jesus LIVED IN/WAS A PART OF a community just like lower Vernon Hill during his sojourn on earth – we’re talking the underbelly, the social outcasts of Nazareth, Jerusalem. He was in the desert storm, wind-whipped whispers from the Devil swirling all around him. The Devil whispered into Jesus’ ears: Come! Follow me! And all this – here the Devil stretches out his arms over a rich, opulent and decadent city  – is yours!

Jesus said: Fuck off, Devil! I’m sticking with the poor folks … my lepers, my cripples, my robbers, my whores … the psychically tormented, the insane! Be gone! And Jesus shook the Devil off like the desert dust from his feet!

And the Devil went away…

If only the pastor of St. Mary’s – the un-Christ like Rev Polek – had learned his Bible lessons from the good nuns at his church in Poland where he was born and lived up until fairly recently. But now his rectory – his home – is next door to his church –  a two-minute walk from my apartment. Rev. Polek sees and is surrounded by the exact same men, women, youth and children I am, but he DOESN’T SEE. Jesus would cry! And be pissed! Righteous anger!!!!

The Rev. Polek has:

Not allowed the Worcester Public Library bookmobile Libby to park in his precious, recently repaved church parking lot so that the little kids (and adults) of the neighborhood can check out books, DVDs, CDs and more. He does have Libby parked on the church parking lot during the school year for the children who attend his church’s elementary school – St. Mary’s.

Rev. Polek has run out of his rectory and chased folks off the church parking lot (repaved recently!!!) and the church’s little pocket park – most recently a sweet neighborhood guy and his sweet pit bull. The man ALWAYS had a plastic bag and picked up after his dog! His daily walks with his beloved pooch in this concrete tough world where dogs that need much exercise are sometimes crated for hours,  owned by drug dealers or fought were to be admired! We all smiled at this pair! Not the pastor! He ran out yelling at the man and chased them off. For ever.

There is much illegal trash dumping in my neighborhood. Right inside, in the back of St. Mary’s church parking lot. On the Endicott Street side. It’s a trash hot spot, to tell you the truth! Rev. Polek has refused to work with the City of Worcester and State Rep. Dan Donahue when he was asked if video cameras could be installed and trained on the hot spot so the illegal dumpers could be caught. I’ve posted photos here of the thrown OFFICE FURNITURE, MATRESSES, chairs, contractors bags filled with garbage etc. All on St. Mary’s property. It sits there for days. Sometimes weeks.

The pastor’s kicked me and Jett and Lilac off his precious church parking lot when I used to walk my pups there (plastic poop bag in hand) in the early a.m. No church service. Just me in my Mom’s New York Yankees baseball cap trying to give my two high energy dogs, both on leads, some exercise in the inner city. A city without a dog park.

The pastor confronted me the last time I walked my mutts, and when I scolded him for not understanding the neighborhood he was smack dab in the middle of and told him Father Madden of St. John’s church, up a few streets, is super great with his neighborhood, actually has programs for the people of the ‘hood, welcomes them … feeds them Rev. Polek said to me in broken English wrapped in a heavy Polish accent: THEN GO TO FATHER MADDEN! Go to him!!!

I said FUCK YOU! then whipped around,  leading Jett and Lilac – they wanted to play with the pastor who just frowned at their exuberance – stormed off! Stormed off his fucking precious church parking lot!

A week later Rev. Polek had about 20 NO TRESPASSING. POLICE TAKE NOTICE  signs posted at the entry of his parking lot, the sides of his parking lot, by the shrine on his parking lot, near the church side of his parking lot… . What’s the Polish word for overkill?! (Rev. Polek!)

But then arrogance superseded nastiness:

Three or so weeks ago, I forget which holiday, the Rev. Polek hauled out the church portable microphones, the speakers, the portable PA system, gold leaf encrusted portable awning and lead a mini church procession around his church parking lot, ending up in front of the church’s shrine. It was warm out, but he was wearing heavy, opulent vestments trimmed in bright red. About 150 parishioners followed him, singing, too. He sang a sad Polish hymn that my mother used to sing around the house when I was a little girl growing up on Lafayette Street. Very plaintive, dark… I cried when I heard that song because it reminded me of Ma and my rough childhood in Green Island. I looked out my kitchen window to watch the Rev. Polek and his tiny flock.

The pageantry was intense and beautiful. It was a sea of people and pretty dresses and bowed heads in the middle of the inner city, surrounded by  tired three deckers, Section 8 housing, poor people, many brown- and black-skinned. It was all in Polish – words and music – not Spanish the way most celebrations in my neighborhood sound.

I struggled with its interpretation: I had never seen anything like this. Was Rev. Polek saying,  Hooray! I’ve got a new parking lot! Screw you poor city people! Look how great and holy we are! Look at my flock! Old, young, babies. We rule this brandy new church parking lot! It’s ours! Not yours! Stay off! Look at us! We are better. We are nothing like you!

Then two or three weeks later, his church is busted into and besides taking money, this outdoor portable PA system that he was using in that parking lot procession was stolen! Ripped off! Nothing else taken! No gold chalice, no gold leafed icon. JUST the PA system that he was using  a few weeks ago – not even flaunting it but he may as well have been – a great outdoor PA system before all the eyes and ears of a  poor BUT MUSIC-OBSESSED community. 

His neighbors, his neighborhood, too.

The recent break in at St. Mary’s is no tragedy, no desecration of a holy space! Jesus, the spirit of Jesus, St. Mary and all the saints and angels, was never there to defile.

And somewhere in the ‘hood there’s a great party going on, the lovely mariachi band sending love through music out to the pretty brown ladies in three deckers, the junkies nodding off in the hallway, the dancers at the backyard party, me writing this story, sweet Jesus up in the city sky!!

Hallelujah!!!

Jim parked in A.I!

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Congressman McGovern Applauds Bipartisan Action to Address Opioid Crisis

Calls for Stronger Funding to Support National Effort

On the House floor today, Congressman Jim McGovern spoke in support of bipartisan legislation to tackle the opioid epidemic hurting so many communities in Western and Central Massachusetts.

The bills debated today were H.R. 5046, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction (COARA) Act, and H.R. 4641, a bill to provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes.
 
OPIOID EPIDEMIC IS AN ‘EMERGENCY’
 
“We need to provide funding to our communities struggling to deal with the opioid and heroin crisis. This is an emergency. That’s how you have to classify this and look at this. This is an emergency. People are dying,” Congressman McGovern said. “Without providing the additional resources needed, we will not be part of the solution.
 
“So I think that we need to understand that this crisis has risen to the level of an emergency. We need to do what’s right. We need to not only pass these bills, but we need to commit in a bipartisan way that we’re going to provide the necessary funding and I hope we can do that. If we don’t do that – all the speeches that we give this week will amount to empty rhetoric. We need to make sure we fund these priorities.”
 
ACTION IN MASSACHUSETTS
 

McGovern praised local efforts led by the Central Massachusetts Opioid Task Force and the Opioid Task Force serving Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region and thanked his fellow members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation – Representatives Joe Kennedy (MA-04), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Bill Keating (MA-09), and Stephen Lynch (MA-08).
 
“In New England, we know all too well the terrible toll of the opioid epidemic. Having seen the damage it has done to the communities that I represent in Central and Western Massachusetts, tackling the opioid epidemic has long been a top priority for me,” McGovern added.
 
“Instead of giving in to despair, communities in Massachusetts and across the country are responding to the opioid epidemic with strength and with courage. They are helping to lead grassroots, state and national coalitions to raise awareness and educate people about the crisis and provide resources to help those ensnared by the addiction.
 
“The Central Massachusetts Opioid Task Force, chaired by Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early, is a great example of this. They are working to bring greater awareness of the problem to residents. Members of the task force attend many of the coalition forums and also go into schools to talk to students.
 
“The Opioid Task Force serving Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region in Massachusetts is another example. It’s co-chaired by John Merrigan, Franklin County Register of Probate; Chris Donelan, Franklin County Sheriff; and David Sullivan, Northwestern District Attorney.
 
“I am so thankful for these and other task forces and coalitions in Massachusetts and across the country for coming together quickly to address this public health crisis and for their tenacity in fighting for individuals and families struggling with addiction.”
 
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Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:
 

“I rise to speak on the rule for consideration of H.R. 5046, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction (COARA) Act, and H.R. 4641, a bill to provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes.
 
“By the end of this week, the House will have taken up a total of 17 bipartisan ‘opioid-related’ bills, each a critical measure to help us tackle the opioid crisis in a variety of ways as we work to end this scourge hurting so many communities across our country and costing the lives of so many all across this country.
 
“I am pleased that the House will be considering this critical bipartisan legislation this week, but in all honesty, I am also very concerned that Republicans are not proposing the new funding that is necessary to meaningfully address the opioid crisis. So in addition to passing the bipartisan legislation on the Floor this week, which authorizes a new grant program, we must also provide real new resources in the form of appropriations to ensure that the initiatives in this legislation can be fully implemented.  If we don’t do that – all the speeches that we give this week will amount to empty rhetoric. We need to make sure we fund these priorities. This is an emergency.
 
“Opioid addiction is inflicting a savage daily toll in neighborhoods across America. According to the CDC, 78 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day – and many of them are young people. In 2013, the number of heroin users was 681,000, an increase of more than 250,000 users since 2002. This crisis is affecting every region across the country and every demographic group.
 
“I have long said that Congress must provide the meaningful resources that are needed to make a difference and save lives and today I am pleased that the we are coming together and taking action to attempt to do just that. These are important first steps.
 
“In New England, we know all too well the terrible toll of the opioid epidemic. Having seen the damage it has done to the communities that I represent in Central and Western Massachusetts, tackling the opioid epidemic has long been a top priority for me.
 
“Across Massachusetts the number of opioid overdose deaths climbed by nearly 10 percent – up from 1,282 in 2014 to 1,379 in 2015. Once all cases are finalized by the medical officials in Massachusetts, it’s estimated that there will be an additional 63 to 85 deaths for 2014 and 118 to 179 deaths in 2015.
 
“In Worcester County alone, home of the second-largest city in New England, opioid-related deaths jumped from 163 in 2014 to 177 in 2015. Looking back at the last 16 years, we can see an even bigger increase. In 2000, there were 59 opioid-related overdose deaths in Worcester County – a small fraction of the 1,289 deaths in 2015.
 
“Most of last year’s victims were between the ages of 25 and 44, in the prime of their lives with so much to live for. Many left behind families heartbroken and devastated by these senseless deaths. These families include husbands, wives, children, and so many more who loved them and desperately wanted them to get the help they needed and live.
 
“The opioid epidemic is even harder to cope with for those who have seen young people lose their lives to addiction. In Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, one high school principal said that in the 11 years he has been principal, he has known of 33 students who have been active heroin addicts. Seven of them died and at a recent forum, he learned that there had been even more that he had not known about.
 
“Part of the problem is the stigma associated with heroin use. I think a lot of us think we know what heroin use and addiction look like, but the reality is it can take hold of anyone, including our neighbors, our friends, and even our own family members.
 
“However, instead of giving in to despair, communities in Massachusetts and across the country are responding to the opioid epidemic with strength and with courage. They are helping to lead grassroots, state and national coalitions to raise awareness and educate people about the crisis and provide resources to help those ensnared by the addiction.
 
“The Central Massachusetts Opioid Task Force, chaired by Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early, is a great example of this. They are working to bring greater awareness of the problem to residents. Members of the task force attend many of the coalition forums and also go into schools to talk to students.
 
“The Opioid Task Force serving Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region in Massachusetts is another example. It’s co-chaired by John Merrigan, Franklin County Register of Probate; Chris Donelan, Franklin County Sheriff; and David Sullivan, Northwestern District Attorney.
 
“I am so thankful for these and other task forces and coalitions in Massachusetts and across the country for coming together quickly to address this public health crisis and for their tenacity in fighting for individuals and families struggling with addiction.
 
“Just this week, I had the opportunity to join community leaders at North Brookfield High School in Central Massachusetts for an event with Chris Herren, a former constituent of mine from Fall River and a former Boston Celtics player who now travels to schools in New England and across the country to speak about his own recovery from addiction and the need for young people to stay drug-free.
 
“I am also grateful to my fellow members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation for being strong partners in this fight. Joe Kennedy is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and has been a leader on this issue – he’s the lead Democratic sponsor of HR 4641. And a number of amendments sponsored by Massachusetts members were made in order last night, including several from Katherine Clark as well as amendments from Seth Moulton, Bill Keating, and Stephen Lynch.
 
“I also want to commend the leadership of Congresswoman Annie Custer from New Hampshire. She has been out front on this issue for a long, long time and we appreciate her leadership.
 
“The simple truth is that we’re not going to arrest our way out of this problem. Prevention and treatment must be at the heart of our approach to tackling this epidemic. As part of the comprehensive approach called for, we must equip our young people with the skills necessary to identify constructive ways to deal with problems so that turning to drugs is never an option.
 
“We must make every effort to ensure that treatment is available to those who seek it. Because it takes courage and strength to admit that you need help. I am pleased that the legislation we are considering this week will do just that.
 
“I strongly support the legislation this rule makes in order. H.R. 5046, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act, would establish the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant Program. With $103 million provided annually over 5 years, this program would help provide vital assistance to state and local agencies to fund treatment alternatives to incarceration, opioid abuse prevention, training, and education. 
 
“The program’s grants could be used to train first responders in carrying and administering opioid overdose reversal drugs, support prescription drug monitoring programs, and strengthen collaborations between criminal justice agencies and substance abuse systems, or for programs targeted toward juvenile opioid abuse programs.
     
“This legislation is a commonsense bipartisan step that goes a long way to provide the critical help that Americans across this country need to combat our opioid epidemic. 
 
“I also support of H.R. 4641, a bill to provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes. Creating this task force is another key step to help strengthen our national response to the opioid crisis and increase inter-agency collaboration as we marshal all of our resources in this fight.
 
“I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who worked very hard to bring additional bipartisan legislation to the floor this week to tackle the opioid crisis. These bills would take important steps to cut the risk of opioid addiction among veterans managing chronic pain, take on international drug traffickers, improve the treatment and care of babies who are born addicted to opioids, help reduce opioid use among young people, and strengthen access to opioid overdose reversal medication.
 
“There are many issues that Democrats and Republicans do not see eye to eye on, but I am pleased that both parties are coming together, at least on this first step, to tackle  the opioid crisis. For families and communities across the country who have already lost so much and so many to this epidemic, there has never been a more important time for us to take action.
 
“I want to thank the leaders of both parties for helping to bring these important bipartisan bills to the House floor. I do believe we can end the opioid crisis once and for all.
 
“But again – let me stress – we need to provide funding to our communities struggling to deal with the opioid and heroin crises. This is an emergency. That’s how you have to classify this and look at this. This is an emergency. People are dying. Without providing the additional resources needed, we will not be part of the solution.
 
“So the ideas that we have compiled today and are debating this week are all good ideas, but they won’t be real ideas unless they are funded. And I worry that this Congress might not be up to the challenge.
 
We have emergencies in Flint, Michigan with the water crisis. And we have not done what we needed to do to provide emergency funding for that community. We have a growing emergency with the Zika virus and we can’t get an emergency appropriations bill to the floor.
 
“So I think that we need to understand that this crisis has risen to the level of an emergency. We need to do what’s right. We need to not only pass these bills, but we need to commit in a bipartisan way that we’re going to provide the necessary funding and I hope we can do that.
 
“With that, I reserve the balance of my time.”
 

The restraining arm of “Papito”

By Ron O’ Clair

[Recently] I had reason to summon the Worcester Police to come and remove six drug-addicted persons out of one of the individual rooms here in the rooming house I manage on Main Street, at the corner of Charlton and Main streets.

I did so after receiving a complaint from the tenant who is the only person authorized by management to occupy this SRO [Single Room Occupancy] unit.

He is being systematically robbed of his monthly income by these people who he will allow to enter the building, and then when they don’t go away when he tells them to, he calls me to make them leave.

Generally, I will do that myself, and most times the people will all scramble out when I tell them to go.

The only problem is, when I turn my back on them, right back they come either by disabling the front door lock mechanism or the rear security gate, and that requires me to constantly be on guard, to the detriment of the work I have to do to accomplish my mission.

I thought that here is an excellent opportunity to have some of these people brought up on charges for trespassing at the very least.

Well, can you figure what happened when the Worcester Police came in answer to my call for their assistance?

Police officers Chau & McKenna refused to charge any of them … they were just allowed to leave even after the fact that when the police were knocking on the unit door, I was stationed at the kitchen door waiting for the room window to open so they could bail out that way.

And sure enough, while they were stalling on opening the door, they started climbing out the window!

I got the attention of Officer McKenna and he came to make sure they went back in the room. Then they realized they were caught and that Officer Chau had told them to open the door because we have the key anyway, so they did.

There were six known drug addicted persons in the room, a mixture of drug users and prostitutes.

These are the same individuals who I have repeatedly told to stop trespassing and stay off the property. They simply ignore all attempts made by either the previous owner or myself to make that happen.

The Worcester Police always are quick to tell the owner and myself what we need to do to stop this behavior with their suggestions of beefing up security and many other suggestions.

But they are unwilling to do the job required of them by locking up the criminals, so that they will learn not to come back on threat of going back to jail.

I have called at least 10,000 times for police assistance over the 13 year period that I have been the responsible party for this particular piece of Real Estate here in Worcester (That can be verified by public record as statistics kept by the Worcester Police Department.)

The result? Only to have the criminals repeatedly allowed to walk away with no criminal charges, or as in the recent episode, without even having the benefit of a check for wants and warrants on those individuals – some of whom may have had warrants for their arrest on file.

After that incident, I was down in the lobby when I saw a fellow fire off seven rounds out of a semi-automatic hand gun!

Directly opposite where I was with my dangling Fujifilm 18x digital camera around my neck.

As I was attempting to start it up and film the shooter casually walking toward the getaway vehicle that was waiting with the engine running on Wellington Street the street person that was with me prevented me from doing so. Out of his fear that we would be shot as the next target when the suspect looked and saw me there with the camera poised ready to start.

If not for the intervention of “Papito” as this person is called on the street, I would have boldly gone where I have been going for the last 13 years and zoomed in on the license plate of the getaway vehicle as well as the face of the shooter.

Yea though it is very dangerous for me, it is just what I would have done if not for the restraining arm of “Papito” who was concerned for not only my safety, but his own.

I will never not stand up as a man to do the right thing and assist the local police (as inefficient as they can be) to maintain order in my community as is my duty as a citizen.

Nor will I live in fear or on my knees in subjugation to criminal minded drug dealers who think they can control the 700 block of Main Street in Worcester, city of birth.

It is not in my nature to cower in fear of retribution, and I do firmly believe that the God of my understanding has my back anyway.

Go, Ronny, go!!!!!

MAIN SOUTH: The PIP is gone, but the crime remains the same

By Ron O’Clair

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Hit and run …

Early Wednesday morning the 7th of October as I was still at my post watching the nefarious goings on in my area of concern here on Main Street in the 700 block, I heard a terrific crash right outside my window.

I was able to look out in time to see the same Dodge Ram pick up that had been terrorizing the neighborhood all night long previously running up and down Main Street at a high rate of speed making U-turns and coming back to interact with the street denizens who habituate my area.

I had almost called in a complaint on the truck for that behavior earlier, but the response times from the Worcester Police Department often are such that I figured they would be gone by the time the police arrived.

The guy in the black truck had been burning rubber during those U-turns which tended to be at Main & Hermon, and Main & Sycamore.

Several times during the course of the night, the offending vehicle would park outside of my building on the Charlton Street side and make transactions with the street dealers that perpetuate this particular spot in our beautiful City of Worcester.

I have tried to get the WPD to investigate the street level dealings that take place all night long outside my windows that are readily apparent to anyone that cares to look, but so far have not had much success.

Apparently, hanging around all night long outside of residential and commercial property that is clearly posted with No Trespass with no legitimate purpose is allowed in this section of the City of Worcester. At times there are as many as 20 people congregating outside of this building. You can travel the length of Main Street and not find that anywhere but here at ground zero at 2, 3, 4, or 5 in the morning.

It is the same people, doing the same things, day after day, night after night, and nothing is being done in the way of rectifying an intolerable situation, outside of my own objections, actions, and vigilance. I am ready to throw in the towel and give it up as a lost cause.

I thank the 580 Worcester voters outside of myself who cast a ballot in my favor in the preliminary election for City Councilor At-Large, I am grateful that there are still some people who can see the truth of the situation that exists here in the 700 block of Main Street.  

Once in a while, someone is caught in the act of criminal behavior and actually has to face the consequences.

It just so happens that the driver of the black Dodge Ram truck was caught this morning. The woman whose car was destroyed may be able to get compensated for the damages, none of which would have happened had I not been witness and willing to do what is required of a citizen when he or she witnesses a crime.

It is your civic duty to assist the police in maintaining order in your community. Many people fail to do that duty for various reasons, and the result is that the police are hamstrung by lenient laws designed to protect the innocent from false charges which many times allow the criminals to continue their crimes without consequence.

So, after striking the vehicle, the guy revved the engine and pushed the car ahead a full car length, before finally backing up and fleeing the scene, only going as far as Wellington Street where he quickly parked the vehicle. This gave me ample opportunity to witness the incident, and telephone the police.

While waiting for the police to arrive, the woman who owned the damaged vehicle came out of 718 Main Street with a friend, saw me in the window and asked if I had seen who did it.

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I pointed out the black truck now parked on Wellington Street, at which point the passenger that was riding in the vehicle at the time of the crash saw me doing my duty as a citizen.

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There was some panic at that point among the perpetrators, and I believe an attempt was made by them to forestall summoning the police because the passenger whistled after the two women who were now heading back to the building I assume to  summon the police.

The driver, with his shaven head plainly visible had exited the vehicle and was staggering all over the place on Wellington Street in what I surmise was a drug/alcohol induced state of intoxication. 
It bordered on the bizarre, this whole scene, but really it was just another day in the hood. When the police finally got here, the operator was inside the drivers seat clapping his hands. The two women were taking cell phone pictures of the license plate of the truck which I had already reported to the call taker for the Worcester Police Department having read it with my telephoto lens as it sat parked on Wellington Street.

The black Dodge Ram got towed away by the police, which probably means that it was unregistered and that the plate did not belong to it which will no doubt cause problems for the woman who had her vehicle damaged. The operator was taken away in the Paddy Wagon, and the damaged car remained parked outside my building for several hours.
I am quite certain that had I not done my duty, the occupants of the black Dodge Ram had no intention of owning up to the fact that they had caused the damage to the woman’s vehicle.

Certainly I am not winning any friends among the criminal element by my taking the moral high road and doing the right thing in these situations, but my faith in the system demands that I do it. If we fail to do our part, it is only a matter of time until there would be total chaos and anarchy on the streets.

People need to do their part, the police alone can’t control the situation. If we all do what is required of us as citizens as laid out by our forefathers, we could restore out inner cities to order in no time. It is a sad state of affairs that I have to call the police to report people sitting right on my front steps smoking crack cocaine out in the open on Main Street, only to have them come too late to catch the offender in action. Same goes for my witnessing trespassers doing drugs on the private property or when vehicles come to make drug buys, by the time the police arrive to investigate the suspicious vehicle report, the transaction has taken place and the next one occurs. It is a never ending cycle of lawlessness that is not being halted.

Perhaps getting this out there in print will help change that.
I urge other concerned citizens who reside in my location to start phoning the police with complaints about the activities that go on outside their windows on a 24/7 basis. When enough complaints are made, things will start to happen.

My wish for 2015: we support local and state police departments throughout our country

By Ron O’Clair

It is my wish for the upcoming year that we here in Worcester can lead the rest of the nation into a new era of racial equality, respect for each other, regardless of what is on the outside, and show by example that support for Law Enforcement is a bedrock principle of our Democracy.

The shameful displays of disrespect for authority without valid reason, as in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, and the associated shootings of officers in various locales trying to be justified by the evildoers as “revenge” for Mike Brown shows how twisted our social norms have become in America.

If you are going to exercise your right to protest an injustice, make damn sure there was an injustice in the first place.

The protesting college students who caused traffic tie ups and inconvenience but did not escalate to looting and burning here in Worcester all clung to that tired old “Hands up, don’t Shoot!” mantra,  even though it has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt that the bullets all entered Brown from the front of his arms. How then could the hands have been raised?

Officer Wilson faced an extremely aggressive thug who had become accustomed to getting his way by using his bulk and brawn as a weapon of intimidation. Forcing the store clerk to let him leave with the box of cigars proved that.

All the evidence is in favor of Law Enforcement on this issue, yet people have been blinded by hatred. People see only in black and white and still cling to the notion that a crime was committed against Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson.

I pray that 2015 brings about change, and that we as a nation can all see that we absolutely need to support our local and state police forces throughout our country. Hold them accountable if they break the law themselves, but we need to support the concepts of Truth, Justice and the American way at the same time.

No system is perfect, and mistakes are made that cost innocent lives on occasion – that is a sad truth about any system of justice.

The proliferation of illegal drugs in our society, along with chronic alcoholism, has spawned a subculture of malcontents who fail utterly to do their civic duty to help the police eradicate crime in their communities.

My D-Day inspired campaigns that I have undertaken each 6th of June for several years has made an impact on my crime-infested neighborhood here in the 700 Block of Main Street (across from the former PIP) primarily because I employed a new weapon in my arsenal of Democracy. A video camera. For several months now I have been making videos of nefarious activities in my Main South neighborhood and posting them on You Tube. I installed a security camera system on my building, which I manage for the landlord, and that video camera records all activity up and down the street. It has also helped curb illegal activity.

I have been at various times branded as a “snitch” because I believe it is a citizen’s duty to cooperate with law enforcement and intervene whenever possible to halt crimes in progress and follow that through with an appearance in court, if needed, to convict the guilty. Those who refer to me as a ‘snitch’ have no concept of honor. They are part of the subculture that is destroying our country, one crime ridden area at a time.

My long and continuous battle against overwhelming odds has borne fruit, and my neighborhood has improved, rather than declined further. My unorthodox methods have had an impact on the lives of those in the area, including ones who were part of the problem. My “Zombie Walk” video was responsible for getting the girl in it, Samantha [last name withheld], into treatment for drug addiction  and perhaps will lead to a reconciliation with her family,  if she is successful in treatment. If she fails, I will unlock the video of her that went viral with 114,766 views in the 10 days. I posted it and it brought attention to the problem of drug addiction in our neighborhood – as was my intent in filming it. Case closed. But it brought me a lot of condemnation from various quarters. But it was ultimately directly responsible for the girl getting the help she so obviously needed in dealing with her drug dependency issues!

Two of the other of the worst of the worst daily offenders on my videos have been clean and sober for quite some time now. Hopefully, I will be able to attend the January 27th ceremony recognizing six solid months of recovery for Wanda, whom I had prosecuted for breaking into my truck so she could get out of the cold and get some sleep after a day’s long crack cocaine binge. The Judge who sentenced her will be on hand to present her with her coin. I certainly hope she and her boyfriend Mike [last names withheld] can remain clean and sober until that time, and far beyond.

That would not have happened if not for my video-taping efforts, and I am grateful that both Wanda and Mike have thanked me in person for my efforts on their behalf. Now that they are drug free, they can see why I do what I do. Most of those who currently condemn me will come to understand my motivation is for the benefit of all Worcesterites, not one or another subset, race or culture.

I stand firmly on the side of law enforcement.

Here is hoping that 2015 brings about a new era focusing on recovery for those addicted to drugs and alcohol and more cooperation between the public and police throughout communities in America.