Saturday night around 9pm I took a walk in the neighborhood and when I got back I decided to sit on the stoop for a little while and watch Franklin St go by.
What made me sit down and pay attention in the first place was police activity inside the common. Not sure what was going on but for some reason the officers decided to drive their cruiser right up inside the common. There was a guy on a bench and two officers were talking to him and shining their flashlights in his face. A couple times one of the officers walked away and shined his flashlight on the ground over by the cemetary so I am thinking it was most likely something to do with drugs. Eventually they picked him up and brought him out to the Franklin St side of the Common where a van came to haul him away.
Now what made all of this interesting was as this was all happening a young Asian couple pulled up in front of the building, probablty in their late 20's driving some sort of newer mid sized Japanese car. They park their car and walk up to the front steps. They look at the building, look at their car, look at the dude getting arrested, look at the building, look at their car, look at the dude getting arrested. I ask if they are possibly looking to move into an apartment, prepared to tell them how wonderful of a time I have had living there. They say no they are just visiting a friend. They are still looking around and the woman asks if I live there, to which I reply that I do. Then the man asks, "Is the area safe?"
Along with the man who got arrested there was another man pushing a shopping cart who also got kicked out of the park. When the couple asked if the area was safe they were both staring straight at this man with very concerned looks on their faces. I said that the neighborhood was completely safe and that the man with the cart, while not very pleasant to look at was just homeless and completely harmless. As the paddy wagon raced off, blue lights flashing, they did not seem to believe me. By this time their friends had come down stairs to let them in and we bid each other a good night.
So the question I would have for the officers who took part in this arrest would be:
1. Did you really need to drive the cruiser right up into the common and have your lights going so that anyone driving by the common and just glancing in would think that Downtown is crime ridden?
2. Did the police van really need to be sitting there with it's lights going? Again, do we really need to call attention to the crime? If it's minor things like public disturbances can't we just discreetly deal with it instead of putting on a show in the middle of Downtown?
The impact of this is that our young couple goes back to wherever they came from and tells their family, friends and coworkers about the awful, scary experience they had in Worcester over the weekend. They also probably give their friends shit for living in such a place which makes them doubt whether they want to renew the lease when the time comes.