Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Problem of Security

You might think, reading some of this blog, that there is no security at 2100 Russell Road. Well, there is and there isn't. Ottawa Housing has it's own Security Company (or perhaps it is under contract to Ottawa Housing) and every tenant here is given their phone number when they take up residence. But Security does not live here. They do not have an office here. There is not a security desk here. They come when they are called. I know Jean Dube thinks I am a royal pain in the butt! I call often, particularly when the other tenants throw their arms in the air in defeat saying, "What's the point? They won't do anything anyway.".

Here is a copy of a letter Mr. Dube sent to Ms. Poirier at Housing:-

We received a complaint from Karen Copeland at 00:32 this morning about loud music from unit xxx. Our CSO went to the address but did not conduct a door knock given that he did not hear music playing as alleged.


Jean Dubé
Manager, Community Safety Services
Ottawa Community Housing Corporation

I am sure that Mr. S. has had similar results when he has called. Does Mr. Dube not understand drug addicts? I find this hard to believe. I could be wrong but I do believe he is the same Mr. Dube who went to OCHC Safety Services when he retired from the R.C.M.P. Does he not understand the unique noise problems with this building? I do not think he does.

This building is horseshoe shaped with a big courtyard in the center. Half the units face into this courtyard. And noise travels, not in straight lines here, but ricochets around like a bullet gone mad. There are only two ways to find out where the noise comes from if you are coming in off the street as the security does.You have to go into the court yard and listen to it or you have to walk past each apartment and listen for it. Most of the security guards who come here do not know where the courtyard entrance is or choose not to use it or perhaps are not even told by the telephone people that going there first was suggested.

Problem number two is that we have cameras at the doors. They can be watched on our t.v. screens. Trouble is we all can watch them. So if someone with a fried brain decides it is time to aggravate the neighbours and turn the music on loud enough to deafen the saints, they can and do. Then they watch their cameras so that they can turn it off when the security gets here. One does not need to be watching the cameras to know when security arrives. You know it the minute the noise disappears. The tenants could use a little empathy from the folks at Housing and at Security.

With this in mind, I have, on more than one occasion, told security to come and spend a night or two at my apartment. I can think of no better primer to empathy than experiencing our grief yourselves. I have also suggested they send someone in ahead of them but out of uniform. I have made the same suggestion to the police. So far, no one has taken me up on this suggestion. Why not? Perhaps Mr. Dube could address that on this blog. Just about any payday weekend, particularly in the summer months, the drug addicts can be caught pulling their little stunts - though they have done it on the warmer winter nights also. Perhaps, Mr. Dube, if you and your men had the will to catch them, you would. Personally, if I were head of Security and had the complaints I know they get, it would be a matter of pride to put an end to problem. Have our security bought into the same line that our various police forces appear to have? Protect the guilty and blame the innocent? Actually sounds more like a parliamentary brain wave - they can be dangerous!

Noise is our biggest problem but as I mentioned in another blog, once the addicts realize they can get away with one thing, they try adding on another. So we have theft - they pick the weaker tenants (see the story about Mr. P.); they pick the weakest spots in the building (see the picture of our laundry room machine).

Some times in life, the shortest route is the longest way. Walking past a door and listening is the shortest and easiest route. It is the longest way to solving the problems at 2100 Russell Road.

This was not a planned entry but it just arrived so I am including it. Tenants reading this blog may want to make note of the Police department's suggestions herein.
Good afternoon,
The Ottawa Police recognizes the concerns of tenants and citizens who may be subjected to false fire alarms or false security alarms. Please note that the Ottawa Police Service does not respond to fire alarm calls and therefore cannot speak to the cost of a false fire alarm however, the police will respond to a security alarm for which the user is charged $80.00 if the call is deemed a false alarm.
In terms of prevention, video surveillance can be used as a deterrent as well as evidence to the act.
The Police Service encourages anyone with information about the abuse of alarms, to file a report by contacting our Call Centre at (613) 236-1222 x 7300 or by visiting any of the local police stations, found on our website ( Allegation of this type are taken very seriously and will be investigated.
Thank you
Ottawa Police Service
Corporate Communications

Shame on you Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!

No comments:

Post a Comment