Social media put out word Monday that there was a "heavy police presence in Harvard Park," but it was a joke. Turns out a half dozen cops showed up to serve hot dogs at the Harvard Park Neighborhood Association meeting, which drew 30 or so residents. City council members Kristin DiCenso and Shawn Gregory share the neighborhood, so each spoke to the group, their main message was they are accessible so call about anything, but don't ask for speed bumps, or new stop signs, or complain about loud music unless you've tried to work it out with your neighbor first. Police spoke next, saying it's going to take awhile to solve recent homicides so be patient, they're trying to identify the kids who have been vandalizing the church's mini-pantry, and they're excited about their new computer technology that uses algorithms to draw boxes on a map to tell them where to patrol. Residents complained that police dispatchers are rude and dismissive, but police said dispatchers don't work for the police department, so there's little control. There was discussion of speeding cars, weeds and trash in alleys and abandoned houses. The problems of Springfield's older neighborhoods aren't difficult, but they need more of the city's attention and care. –Fletcher Farrar, editor

About The Author

Fletcher Farrar

Fletcher Farrar is president of Illinois Times .

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