Pride, watchful eyes help a neighborhood stay safe

By From page A3 | August 06, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A 6-foot tall mad scientist in a white lab coat stood Tuesday along Ticonderoga Drive to the surprise of a dog and several toddlers.

The mechanical Halloween figure, a garage sale find for $40, will be part of the Oct. 31 celebration at Rich Mull’s home.

On National Night Out, the mechanical man was for fun in a neighborhood where residents said stability, street layout and watchful neighbors have helped make the place safe.

“We all look out for each other,” said Mull, 60, a computer technician. “It’s a fairly tight little community.”

He and his wife Valerie hosted the night out event – one of dozens held around Fairfield, with police officers, firefighters and city officials making visits.

A dozen residents in Mull’s neighborhood of about 30 houses are original owners.

That stability, plus courts that reach a dead end, is a big plus.

“Everybody loves this area,” Mull said.

“People don’t leave,” he said about limited home sales.

Derrick McFadden, 40, spoke about regularly receiving letters from real estate agents  inquiring about his interest in selling the home where’s he lived for five years.

Shannon Gravier said she and her husband John moved in April from Santa Rosa to the neighborhood with their 5-year-old and 22-month-old twins because it’s safe.

“The neighbors have been so nice,” she said.

Cookies and a bottle of wine were welcoming gifts the couple received.

Valerie Mull said neighbors all talk with each other.

In some many places, she added, “people live behind their garage doors.”

Rich Doyle, who describes himself as old and retired, spoke about one of the few crimes that have occurred. A burglar staying at a nearby Motel 6 stole $300 from Doyle’s home in 2011.

The stolen money, Doyle said, doesn’t matter because police caught the man known as the Westside burglar.

That kind of crime is rare, Doyle added, because “we have a lot of eyes out here.”

“There’s a lot of pride,” he said.

Margaret Whitty, who first moved to Solano County in 1954, has lived in the neighborhood for a decade.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s quiet.”

“I feel quite safe here,” Whitty added.

Of the National Night Out event at the Mulls, she said, “This is a nice idea.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]


Ryan McCarthy


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