Living in Hanover

Living in Hanover

'Apparently a blog about living in Hanover'

Local Crime

All of the posts under the "Local Crime" category.

Danger on the Streets

I often poke fun at people who try to portray Hanover as a dangerous community. I mean, it’s not Mayberry, but the reality is that as long as you don’t look for trouble, you usually won’t find it.

I often project this through bragging about walking home after a night downtown, either because I just felt like walking or because I know I shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car. However, the jokes came to an end when I walked home from a friend’s house after a Fourth of July cookout recently.

My wife had already headed home with the car, and we don’t live too far away so I decided to walk home when I was done having fun. This was on July 3. We had a nice night so I looked forward to enjoying the stroll.

As I walked up Moul Avenue, I noticed a shadow ahead. Had someone left something on the ground? Could I be a Good Samaritan and return a lost item? Would this be my way of making the job easier for the folks who had to clean up the park?

Nope!

I honestly think I would have acted more calmly if someone did hold me up with a gun. I did a little dance down the sidewalk past the critter – he barely acknowledged my presence – and then walked the next few hundred feet looking back over my shoulder every few steps to make sure he wasn’t tracking me.

That could have happened, you know. My theory of an angry band of woodland creatures starting their own society in the Rail Trail woods has gained steam ever since my wife and some other friends have shared news of a bird attacking people in that vicinity.

The animal uprising is real. I am just glad I managed to escape unharmed.

This time.

Surviving Hanover

Something amazing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Something that some people thought could never happen. I enjoyed closing 2014 with a bang.

I walked through the streets of Hanover alone in the evening and no one hurt me.

Now before I go on having fun, let me be clear – I am not making fun of anyone who has actually been victimized by a crime locally or anywhere else. I feel terrible for folks who have to go through things like that.

I am, however, making fun of people who take small pieces of information and conflate them into a larger narrative that just is not true.

This happens all too often with the state of Hanover. Sometimes it’s in reaction to something horrible, like the assault and robbery of an older couple on Moul Avenue last week. An event like that certainly should remind us that bad things can and do happen sometimes, even in our backyard.

But that does not mean that everyone’s personal safety is constantly at risk, like you see some people intimate if you get involved in discussions on local issues on social media.

The recent talk of revitalization efforts on Hanover spurred some of these false fears. Some people reacted to the stories in the paper about what was, what is and what will be happening downtown with comments about how they felt unsafe downtown.

I just laughed. Just look at the news, especially the police log which is printed on a regular basis. People aren’t getting jumped at random intervals in alleys, much less on main roads like Routes 94, 194 and 116. The notion that people enjoying downtown businesses put themselves at risk is just silly.

That’s why I tested the theory one night between Christmas and New Year’s. I wanted to put myself in harm’s way just to show people that it’s possible to survive. I also may have been better off not driving and was just a mile or so from my house. But we’ll go with courageous crusader instead of “guy who knows when he isn’t OK to drive.”

I ventured out on Carlisle Street and then headed to (street redacted so as not to compromise future walks in public at night) and crossed to (I will not give away my location to the hoodlums who may be lurking) before heading straight for my house.

I arrived safe and sound. I also got a nice little workout, which is an added bonus of this mode of transportation. Far from dodging gangs of opportunistic bandits, I think I saw three people. On a Saturday night around 11 p.m.

Hopefully I see more bodies on the street in 2015 when I put my life in my hands again. The opening of two craft breweries will hopefully give others the courage to head into downtown after the sun has gone down.

Those people can rest assured that I stand before them as a survivor. I managed to take a leisurely walk through town without any major incidents. Stranger things have happened.

Brian January 13, 2015 2 Comments Permalink

Overwhelming Evidence

I originally planned to write a post about the nature trail meeting and how I’m sad borough council/administration sat there and threw the poor engineering assistant (and who is he an assistant to since they no longer have a borough engineer?) under the bus and how I’m happy that lots of people are seeing the things I have been talking about for a couple of years now and how I’m proud to see the engagement and thoughtfulness of the community.

But on the way to putting that post together, I did a quick Google search for something and found another item that points to the cluelessness of the people running the borough. I simply Googled the phrase “Hanover Borough.” In the results, I saw a curious entry – a site that looked like it was about the borough police department. I know sometimes spammers will gobble up domains and make sites that look official so I figured that would be the case here.

Nope. You can go to http://hanover-police.org/ and see a site run by the police department, seemingly independent of the borough web site, much more attractive that the borough web site and at a domain not owned by the borough government. The domain has been alive for more almost seven years. The borough main site does link to it, but they in no way promote that the police has their own site with their own tips and expertise.

Once again, we find an example of how hollow the promise of better communication Barb Krebs made when she was promoted to borough manager really is. And once again, we see that there are examples of outstanding work being done behind the scenes in the borough. They just don’t always get a chance to see the light when big egos block the view.

Kudos to Chief Smith and his department.

Brian February 28, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

Town Meeting

Tonight, there will be a town meeting at the library with folks from The Evening Sun and Channel 8. They have done these for a while, but I have never attended, for a variety of reasons.

This one will be no different although I have a better excuse this time – I have a work commitment that won’t allow me to join the crowd. I hope people go and have a little advice for those who do go to meet Marc Charisse and the rest of the panelists.

Remember what these people can accomplish.

I have read stories from past town hall meetings and wondered if the people there to complain understand the limits of a newspaper editor and television producer. They can’t fix the problems in the town.

So don’t ask them if they think the school districts should merge, ask them what resources they have allocated for in-depth coverage of the budgetary and programmatic challenges that school districts face now. Don’t ask them why the police can’t stop drug sales in a certain area of town, ask them what they know about crime patterns and if they are doing any stories on how police allocate their resources.

These aren’t complaints of mine about how the paper or TV station do things, just some examples of where common criticisms should be directed in this kind of venue. Trust me, the people in newsrooms probably complain about the same things you do. They just have to find a way to channel those complaints into coverage instead of just negativity.

The media can’t solve problems, but they can find a way to shine a light on things which need attention in a way the people in charge don’t always think of. Help them do that by putting your attention on potential solutions, not just re-hashing the problems.

Brian September 6, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

Kudos, Hanover Police

The paper has had a few stories recently on a home invasion in the borough recently. Thankfully, Hanover Police have made a pair of arrests in the case less than a week after the incident.

I don’t think the borough cops get enough respect. On the old message boards at The Evening Sun (aka The Cesspool), they were pilloried as police can often be in an anonymous context. But these arrests show why I have to tip my cap to the men and ladies of the force.

Both guys arrested have somewhat long records. One of them in fact, the one whose parents named him after a 1980s heavy metal band, faces charges from a string of incidents in the last 10 days or so of October. The other is also no stranger to the local constabulatory.

And if the police can’t happen to be in place when a crime arrives, the next best thing is to know enough about the local riff-raff that they can find them pretty easily without the problem getting out of control. That seems to be what happened here, just like with the hammer attack guy before and a bunch of other incidents.

Now who knows what happens with these guys once they get into the justice system, but at least I feel better knowing that the local cops have enough info to get a case like this into the system pretty quickly.

Brian November 3, 2011 Leave A Comment Permalink

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