Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crime Busters - First Creek Neighbors

Here's a positive story about some citizen crime fighting in the First Creek Neighborhood of Tacoma. It's about making a community safer and a better place to live. The story was featured Thursday evening July 15th at 9pm on MYQ2 (channel 10) and at 10 pm on Q13 (channel 13).

One very imporatant element missing from the story is the importance of the City of Tacoma, the Police Department and Code Inforcement Officers, and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and their Police Department. All of them are working really hard with the community and we consider them our partners.

If you missed the story here's a video link:


Also: here's a transcript of the text and story by Darren Dedo

CRIMEBUSTERS: Tacoma Residents Take On Crack Den And Drug Dealing Squatters
A dedicated group of First Creek neighbors have decided enough was enough, and became Crimebusters.

TACOMA - It used to be one of Tacoma's toughest neighborhoods where pimps, prostitutes, and drug dealers ruled.

Now, a dedicated group of First Creek neighbors have decided enough was enough, and became Crimebusters.

It started when a group of addicts moved in next door to Ben Rimmele's home.

"I would let my dog out at night to use the restroom, I'd watch drug transactions go on, people breaking into cars all the time, I'd worry about my wife and daughter that, that stuff had happened," said Rimmele.

So, Ben and the rest of his First Creek neighbors decided to stand up to the bad guys.

"We started writing down license plates and descriptions," said Rimmele, "we took pictures, I (even) set up a camcorder on the top of my stairs to videotape the house."

The crack shack wasn't the only problem; Pimps and prostitutes were terrorizing their streets too.

Dan Fear says that when the First Creek folks decided to picket them.

"We literally went right up into their faces and said what are you doing?" said Fear, "it's a nice night, we're standing on the corner enjoying it, what are you doing?"

Ben and his good friend Martin Stokes also went mobile to fight crime and started patrolling under a neighborhood bridge.

Stokes says they see everything from crack pipes to beer, and the goal is to make sure squatters keep their open-air drug market away from kids.

"Now, we actually go to the park, go bike riding, go play basketball without worrying," said Stokes.

What a difference two years makes on Portland Avenue.

What used to be a vacant lot on the main strip that was a haven for criminal activity will soon become a community garden.

You can see and feel the renewed sense of community in First Creek.

It's thanks to Ben and his team of Crimebusters standing up for what's right.

"We stood our ground, said this is our neighborhood no one else's," said Rimmele, "all the neighbors together, we all came together."

Reporters final comments: The group says that at their last community crime meeting the Tacoma Policethe Tacoma Police told them that all of their efforts have made their First Creek area one of the least crime ridden areas of the city.

If you know of a Crimebuster in your neighborhood let us know about them, they could be featured in an upcoming story.

Link to online story but video link is difficult to find online:,0,6322782.story


Future Events:

August 3rd
First Creek’s First National Night Out
Location: Green Thumb Community Garden (Wright Avenue and Portland Avenue) Time: 7-10 pm. National Night Out Against Crime is a national event dedicated to increasing crime awareness and strengthening neighborhood spirit. Why not come and meet some old/new neighbors? You and your family are invited to join us at our new community garden site (a work in progress) at Portland/Wright Ave on August 3, 2010 from 7-10pm. This is a potluck event so please bring a dish to share, if you can. You might also bring a garden chair. There will be a BBQ for grilling. The garden should be fully fenced in by that time; neighbors of all ages are invited to come. We are hoping to have police presence, games for kids, and an opportunity to personalize pickets for the community garden. Questions? Please contact Katja at 253-576-6900 or

August 4th
Join First Creek Neighbors for "A Picnic at the Creek"
Wednesday August 4th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Location: In First Creek Meadow near the 32nd St. Bridge. What you should bring? Your favorite picnic pot luck dish, water, or pop to share. A blanket or folding chair to sit on. A big smile. Enter the canyon near 29th St. behind the Emerald Queen Casino and walk a 2 block trail to 32nd St. Bridge or walk in from East Wright Street. at T Street. Provisions will be made for elderly and disabled to drive in. For more information call Edwina at 474-7083

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