FAIRFIELD — A court system that’s too lenient, the lack of compassion in some youth and the role of churches in a community were some of the topics discussed Tuesday as members of the Mayor’s Commission on Crime heard from residents at its first, and most likely only, community meeting.
The nine-member commission was sworn in July 1 at the Fairfield City Council meeting. Their report is due to the council in mid-September.
“The purpose is to give you an opportunity to communicate concerns so we can come up with suggestions and recommendations for the council,” said commissioner member Jonathan Richardson.
About 50 people attended.
Joe Belton encouraged those attending to call the police when they see things. “Until we tell the police, our hands are tied,” he said.
Brent Finger told the audience, and commission members, he was upset about how the forum was announced on what he saw as short notice.
Dotty Schenk concurred, to a degree. She found a flier on her car windshield Monday night announcing the meeting. She went on to tell the group that she’s heard the word on the street is that parolees want to come to Fairfield and/or Vallejo because they are not hassled in those towns.
Others, such as Rosie Davis, encouraged those attending to not dwell on the number in attendance but to focus on the fact that great things can happen when one or two people take action.
The Rev. David Isom shared a story from the Daily Republic in which police said admitted Travis Dairy killer Dezmon Frazier, 20, was found July 1 with a concealed and loaded semiautomatic handgun with a high-capacity magazine. Frazier is still awaiting sentencing for the 2011 Travis Dairy killing.
He posted $50,000 bail a few hours after his July 1 arrest. Frazier skipped out on a court date Tuesday.
“Until the courts have consequences for action, crime will keep going up,” Finger said. “You can put a PAL (Police Activities League) center on every block and crime will continue. You have to get punishment in line with where we want to go.”
The Rev. Mervin Davis Jr., of True Love Baptist Church, said the answer lies with changing the hearts of youth. When a 15-year-old can shoot another 15-year-old and show no emotion, there’s work to be done, he said.
Tonia Roberts, who handles outreach at Liberty Christian Center, told about the Neighborhood Transformation program they are introducing at Parkway Gardens. “You have to get out of the walls (of the church) and get to them,” she said.
Richardson said the commission is having meetings with key players in the community. “When the dust settles, you as a community will be pleased,” he said.
Those who weren’t able to attend the meeting, or would like to share their thoughts in a less public forum, are encouraged to visit www.stopfairfieldcrime.com.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.