News

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Trees in the News!

Our very own WBRZ heard us shouting from the roof tops about our gorgeous trees, and they sent Brittany Weiss to investigate.

CHECK OUT THE STORY

Here’s How You Can Help Our Dying Trees!

Donate! To keep costs low, we must raise the funds to do an entire median at a time. It’s a $1,000 to prune, mulch and care for one (1) tree. You can donate any amount or adopt a whole tree at gdcabr.org/live-oaks.

Reach Out to Neighbors! Talk to your neighbors, peer pressure your loved ones, and help us keep the Garden District the beautiful place it is. If you live along a boulevard, please consider reaching out to your neighbors and adopting your median. We are also looking for big sponsors. The Garden District Civic Association created a non-profit to care for these majestic beasts so your donation is tax deductible!

Please contact the Board if you have any questions about the Collective or if you have any trouble donating at [email protected].

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Claire PittmanTrees in the News!
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June 2021 Drainage Update

This month, East Baton Rouge Parish’s Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford updated GDCA on EBR’s work on drainage and how our neighborhood fits in to its larger plans.

A bit of orientation on drainage in the Garden District: Most of the Garden District, particularly Roseland Terrace and Drehr Place, drains towards Government Street which connects to Dawson Creek (the drainage canal that parallels Acadian Thruway) near Hearthstone Street by Catholic High School property. Other parts of the Garden District, predominantly Kleinert Terrace, also drain to Dawson Creek via Olive Street. Areas west of Park Boulevard generally drain west to Corporate Canal with the exception of areas closest to the park, which drain to the lakes.

Part of the identified problem for the Garden District and areas both upstream and immediately downstream is that the existing culverts on Dawson Creek at Broussard and Hundred Oaks Streets constrict flow. In heavy rain events water backs up and prevents the Garden District (the Government Street and the Olive Street outfalls) from draining. The city has identified funding opportunities to mitigate this issue in our area.  Forte & Tablada, Inc. was selected by the parish to do the design work and prepare the plans for the improvements in our area.

However, these projects may increase the volume of water that is able to travel downstream at one time, meaning there can be negative downstream impacts. The city does not just want to relocate a flooding problem so the timeline is uncertain. The proposed project from Dawson Creek from the Hundred Oaks Street area to Kenilworth Boulevard, which will also provide relief to our neighborhood, is still seeking funding and in turn, has an uncertain timeline.

It is clear that drainage problems associated with the Broussard St. and Hundred Oaks Ave culverts on Dawson Creek play a significant role in our neighborhood’s drainage problems. Additionally, there are questions about system capacity within the Garden District as well – our local system is quite old and it is likely sections of it do not have the capacity for the kinds of high intensity storms that are an increasing part of our lives every spring and summer.

We are encouraged by EBR’s plans for the bridges. Additionally, the EBR Stormwater Master Plan will provide some clarity to the full picture of our neighborhood’s drainage situation. Defining our problems is the first step. We encourage all in the neighborhood to stay involved and continue to advocate for solutions.

If you are interested in these issues or would like to speak to EBR leadership about them, please join the EBR Stormwater Master Plan Virtual Public Meeting this Thursday, June 24, at 6:00 PM. Register at stormwater.brla.gov. You can also learn more about the Stormwater Master Plan by visiting the Virtual Open House.

Summary of Issues

Dawson Creek

What we know: Damming at Broussard St. and Hundred Oaks cause backups in our neighborhood. This is a problem on the entire reach of Dawson Creek.

What EBR plans to do: Replace the bridges (funding identified), but on an uncertain timeline.

Capacity on Government St. and Connections

What we know: There are potential capacity issues.

What EBR plans to do: The EBR Stormwater Master Plan’s findings will bring clarity to the issues and future project development is dependent on the completion of that effort.

Local Conveyance/Pipe Capacity

What we know:  There are potential capacity issues in our existing stormwater drainage system. Some of the rain events we have had in the recent past have certainly exceeded local system capacity.

What EBR plans to do:  The EBR Stormwater Masterplan’s findings will bring clarity to the issues and future project development is dependent on the completion of that effort. In the meantime the parish cleaned out the drain boxes and piping on Cherokee Street in March and has identified other locations in the Garden District that will be cleared when funding becomes available.

Learn more about the Dawson Creek Bridge Projects.

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Claire PittmanJune 2021 Drainage Update
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5 Ways to Protect your Home and Combat Crime

It’s a fact: Crimes of all sorts rise in frequency in the summer months. Criminologists have outlined a variety of reasons for this, but the reality is that crime in the Garden District will increase in the summer, as it will everywhere else.

The best security is multi-layered. Knowing your neighbors and keeping an eye out for unusual activity is the first step. There are plenty of other ways we can reduce crime in the Garden District and beyond. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Get to know your property. Walk the perimeter of your house and check for obvious security problems. This could include a garage door that doesn’t close, a broken window, or even a hiding spot where a criminal could lay in wait.
  2. Reduce the opportunity. The easiest and most impactful way to reduce crime is to simply lock your doors and keep valuables out of sight. Most crimes are simply opportunity. That’s why criminals target vehicles and homes with valuable items left visibly on display, pulling handles looking for unlocked doors.
  3. Improve your lighting. Light is one of the single best deterrents to crime. The cost of running an LED light bulb is significantly less than the old incandescent bulbs, and there’s a myriad of switches that allow you to control security lighting intelligently.
  4. Check your locks. Most hardware store-grade can be bumped or picked within seconds. A qualified locksmith can make recommendations about higher quality locks that can better secure your home.
  5. Secure your valuables. Criminals know to look in dresser drawers, in the freezer, in the backs of closets, and in the other hiding spots that most people employ. A high quality home safe—bolted to the floor and the wall—will deter all but the most determined criminals.
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Claire Pittman5 Ways to Protect your Home and Combat Crime
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Under the Oaks Series: Beats, Bubbles and Bites

We are raising awareness and money for the live oaks located in the Garden District.

Join us for Beats, Bubbles and Bites on the corner of Drehr Ave. and Cherokee St. $30 per ticket for Garden District Civic Association members. $40 for non-members. Ticket include picnic bites from City Pork,  complimentary bubbles donated by Red Cake Events, cash bar provided by Blend, and live music by the young Garden District phenom, Katie Love, and The Bayouside Swingers sponsored by Bayou Tree Service.

Bring your blankets and yard chairs! Money will go to the Live Oak Collective for preserving, trimming and fertilizing the live oaks in the medians of the Garden District.

PURCHASE TICKETS

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Claire PittmanUnder the Oaks Series: Beats, Bubbles and Bites
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Takin’ It to the Streets

Don’t be alarmed! The Garden District Civic Association board is going door-to-door to meet and greet our neighbors. The purpose of this walking campaign is to build community, bring awareness about the trees and our civic association and RAISE MONEY!!! One thing board members have heard time and time again is “I didn’t know the Garden District had a civic association” or “I didn’t know what the dues were for so I didn’t join” or “I didn’t think you were doing anything with the money so why would I join” or “I’m a renter. Why would I join the civic association”.

If you have any questions or want more information, please let your board visitor know! They will record your email address, and we will get back with you!

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Claire PittmanTakin’ It to the Streets
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A Tribute to Dr. Katherine Lindley Spaht Dodson

The Mardi Gras ribbons on Kleinert Avenue have been removed, but the loving sentiment the ribbons represented will long be remembered.  The ribbons tied around fifty of the great live oak trees on Kleinert Avenue, were lovingly placed there in honor of Dr. Katherine Lindley Spaht Dodson, a former resident of the Garden District.  Dr. Spaht Dodson tragically lost her life in January.

Dr. Katherine Lindley Spaht Dodson grew up in the Garden District and her parents still live in the neighborhood.   Dr. Dodson loved the Mardi Gras season and to pay tribute to their dear friend and loved one, several neighbors of Dr. Dodson’s parents including Lance Hayes and Andrew Avant decided to tie the traditional Mardi Gras-colored ribbons around the oaks to show their respect and celebrate her life and love of Mardi Gras.  This touching acknowledgement of Dr. Dodson’s life and legacy was spotlighted in the Baton Rouge magazine InRegister.  Read on for the complete story.

Allison, Ariana. Kleinert Avenue. Photograph of Mardi Gras ribbons on Kleinert Avenue. InRegister Magazine. 11 Feb. 2021, https://www.inregister.com/features/garden-districts-mardi-gras-trees-pay-tribute-to-the-memory-of-lindley-dodson?fbclid=IwAR3TV6wDBSYs6g7y_VwWrr-_a4bXJ0vYRVJVcL37qEU-B9up6s0kHyYD2mY. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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Claire PittmanA Tribute to Dr. Katherine Lindley Spaht Dodson
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February 2021 Security Update

Date: Time: Address: Synopsis:
2/3/21 1351 2100 Wisteria St. An anonymous caller reported that a black male driving a white Toyota with a busted back passenger’s window almost hit a white male on a skateboard. The caller advised the white male yelled at the black male, and then the black turned around and came back to try and hit the white male again. Police responded to the area and were unable to locate the caller or either male involved.
2/3/21 1553 600 block of  Camellia Ave. The white male from the previous incident called to report the incident and provided the license plate number to the white Toyota Corolla. Officers arrived and took the report and then learned the vehicle had been stolen from the Belle of Baton Rouge just a few hours prior.
2/3/21 1633 600 block of  Camellia Ave. The resident advised they were inside of their home and their vehicle was parallel parked on the street. The resident stated that a white Toyota Corolla side-swiped her vehicle, damaged her flower bed, and almost hit her neighbor who was on a skateboard in the area before fleeing the scene. Note, the suspect vehicle is the same stolen vehicle from the previous two incidents. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate the suspect vehicle. These cases are being investigated by Auto Theft Detectives.
2/6/21 0013 1900 block of Oleander St. An anonymous complainant reported hearing loud yelling outside. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate any loud noises or anyone needing Police assistance.
2/6/21 1731 800 block of Park Blvd. The caller requested a welfare check on an elderly neighbor. The caller advised no one has seen the neighbor in several days and the mail was piling up outside. Officers contacted the elderly male and advised he was okay.
2/10/21 2203 1100 block of Park Bl. The complainant advised they were walking in the area of the park when a black male approached them armed with a handgun. The male took several things from the victim at gunpoint and fled the scene. This case is under investigation by armed robber detectives.
2/11/21 0834 900 block of Camellia Ave. The complainant called the telephone reporting unit to report receiving a 1099G form from LA Workforce for unemployment benefits. The complainant advised they never received unemployment, and their identity must’ve been stolen.
2/13/21 1953 1900 block of  Oleander St. An anonymous complainant reported hearing 3-5 shots fired in the area. Officers patrolled the area and did not hear any gunshots or locate anyone needing Police assistance.
2/15/21 0801 2100 block of  Oleander St. The complainant reported their garage was burglarized just after midnight. The complainant had video footage of a male entering their garage and stealing a speaker from inside the garage. This case is under investigation
2/15/21 1341 700 block of  Camellia Ave. The resident called 2nd District to report that they observed a slim black male subject, approximately 5’0 tall, pulling on door handles on their security camera at 1240 hours today. The resident further advised that several vehicles in the area had possibly been burglarized so the resident submitted their video surveillance for evidence.
2/21/21 1504 1007 Park Blvd. The resident advised they were inside when they heard a loud noise coming from outside. The resident looked outside and noticed a gray Dodge Ram had just sideswiped their vehicle, which was parked along the side of the road. The resident followed the vehicle until they stopped, but the driver took off again after stopping.
2/21/21 2013 2200 block of Tulip St. This residence is a 4-plex. The owner reported that the tenant was damaging the property and causing a disturbance. Prior to Police responding, another resident reported that the tenant was irate outside and was spray painting their car. Police arrived and detained the tenant. The tenant was issued a summons for Damage to Property. The tenant was then transported to the Bridge Center for a psychological evaluation.
2/22/21 1601 1000 block of Park Blvd. The resident called the telephone reporting unit to report that they Googled a plumber to repair plumbing issues in their home. The Google search yielded “Mr. Rooter” as a business that would respond on weekends, so the resident called that company and paid $400 for services. The resident advised two black males arrived in an older Mr. Rooter van. The males removed the resident’s toilet but did not repair anything prior to leaving. The resident called again the next day to inquire about finishing repairs, but was told by the receptionist that Mr. Rooter is not open on the weekends, their employees do not work on Sundays, and that they do not have any employees that match the description the resident provided.
2/26/21 1333 2200 block of Tulip St. The complainant requested Police because the tenant of this residence was outside “beating up his car.” The complainant advised the tenant was possibly having an episode and was off his medication. Officers reported the male was no longer on scene when they arrived.
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Claire PittmanFebruary 2021 Security Update
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January 2021 Security Update

Date: Time: Address: Synopsis:
1/4/21 0809 Wisteria St. Officers located the suspect from previous incidents and arrested  (see December’s report summaries for this address)
1/5/21 2246 2500 block Olive St. Officers responded to an anonymous complaint of a car alarm going off in the area. Officers reportedly patrolled the area and did not hear or locate any vehicles with alarms sounding.
1/6/21 2255 800 block Park Bl. Narcotics detectives were conducting traffic stops in the area and arrested a subject for drug violations. This report is blocked so no other information is available.
1/8/21 2223 1900 block Tulip St. The homeowner requested Police because their front door was partially open when they returned home. Police cleared the residence, finding nothing out of place inside. The homeowner then realized they did not fully close the door prior to leaving.
1/10/21 0836 2000 block Terrace Ave. An unknown complainant reported that they heard a gunshot and then observed a blue car speeding away from the area. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate anyone needing Police or Medical assistance, and they did not locate any suspicious vehicles in the area.
1/18/21 1919 1800 block Tulip St. Officers responded to a report of gunshots in the area. Officers patrolled the area and spoke to people outside in the area. Officers reported people did say they heard loud noises but nothing that sounded like gunshots. Officers patrolled the area and did not locate anyone needing Police or Medical assistance.
1/20/21 0700 2300 block Wisteria St. The resident reported their vehicle was burglarized overnight. The window was busted out and an item was taken from the vehicle. Officers collected evidence from the scene. This case is pending investigation.
1/25/21 2206 2100 block Tulip St. The resident called the district to report that their shed had been broken into during the evening. The resident advised that tools were stolen, and they did not have camera footage near the area of their shed.
1/26/21 0853 1100 block Drehr Ave. The resident called the telephone reporting unit to report their packages were stolen off of their porch. The resident advised their neighbors had camera footage, but they hadn’t been able to contact their neighbors yet to retrieve it.
1/26/21 1355 1100 block Drehr Ave. The resident called the telephone reporting unit to report that a cargo box was stolen from their back yard after their packages were stolen off of their porch prior in the day.
1/31/21 1216 2500 block Olive St. The resident advised they had a crew at their vacant home doing repairs and the crew located a homeless male sleeping in the home when they arrived. Officers arrived, arrested the male, and banned him from the property.
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Claire PittmanJanuary 2021 Security Update
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Fall 2020 Security Update

December 2020

  • On 12/1/20 at 1417 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Kleinert Ave. relative to a disturbance. The complainant advised their son was causing a disturbance and that he locked them inside of the home. Police arrived and transported the complainant to their residence per their request.
  • On 12/2/20 at 1102 hours, the complainant contacted the telephone reporting unit to report that the arm of the garbage truck struck their vehicle at 1959 Tulip St. The truck driver gave the complainant their contact information to resolve this issue; however, the truck driver has not returned the complainant’s phone call.
  • On 12/4/20 at 2323 hours, Officers responded to the 500 block of Park Blvd. relative to reports of a subject who was possibly suicidal at this location. Upon arrival, Officers contacted all individuals present, and none were in distress or appeared to be suicidal.
  • On 12/9/20 at 0156 hours, Officers responded to a home on Convention Street relative to an incident that had just occurred in the 2000 block of Wisteria Ave. This call was relative to an assault and battery between dating partners where the complainant (victim) had just escaped. The complainant advised their dating partner verbally assaulted them and held them at gunpoint while intimidating them regarding going to court on a previous domestic abuse charge. The complainant stated the suspect loaded a shotgun and advised they would kill the complainant if the complainant didn’t drop the previous charges. Further, the complainant stated the suspect advised they would choose death by cop if the complainant called Police. Officers went to the suspect’s home (Wisteria Ave.) and did not locate anyone there. This case has been forwarded up to Detectives who issued a warrant, but the suspect has since evaded capture.
  • On 12/10/20 at 1123 hours, Officers responded to an anonymous complaint of 4 males looking for packages to steal near the 2200 block of Wisteria Ave. No further descriptions were given by the caller. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate the males.
  • On 12/12/20 at 1711 hours, Officers responded to a burglary at 2756 Oleander St. The residents advised their shed was burglarized and several items were taken sometime throughout the day.
  • On 12/20/20 at 2154 hours, Officers responded to the 2100 block of Myrtle Ave. relative to a shots fired call. An anonymous complainant advised of several shots fired in the area. Officers patrolled the area and did not locate any signs of shots being fired or anyone needing police/medical assistance.
  • On 12/24/20 at 2115 hours, Officers responded to a welfare check in the 500 block of Park Blvd. The complainant advised a family member at the home was possibly trying to hurt other family members at the home. Officers contacted the family member in question and he advised that he was feeling fine, and did not want to hurt himself or anyone else.
  • On 12/27/20 at 2050 hours, Officers responded to 2656 Myrtle Ave. relative to a burglary. The resident reported they were away from home but observed an unknown male walking out of their backdoor. Officers arrived and cleared the residence. Officers reported the residence appeared to be in disarray as if someone had just went through several drawers and burglarized the home. The resident was not in town to respond to the home but advised he would determine what was missing when he returned.

November 2020

  • On 11/3/20 at 1518 hours, Officers responded to the 1300 block of Drehr Ave. The resident reported a black male in a black Toyota Corolla pulled up in the alley way next to their home and tried to open their garage door. The door wouldn’t open, so the male returned to his car and retrieved a hammer. The resident’s dogs then began barking, which scared the male off. The resident captured this incident on video surveillance and turned it over to Police.
  • On 11/3/20 at 1917 hours, Officers responded to 903 Camellia Ave in response to a theft. The resident advised that at 1431 hours, a black male driving a black Toyota Corolla with no license plate, pulled up on the side of their residence and entered their yard. The male stole two packages and attempted to steal a generator. The resident captured this incident on video surveillance and turned it over to Police.
  • On 11/7/20 at 0012 hours, Officers responded to an anonymous call in the 1900 block of Olive St. relative to a white male banging on the doors of multiple residents. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate the male.
  • On 11/11/20 at 2119 hours, Officers responded to the 2100 block of Olive St. relative to a suspicious person. Multiple anonymous residents in the area advised two heavyset black males wearing blue jeans and white shirts were hanging out in the alleyway. The residents reported the males ran when they walked outside. It is unknown what the males were doing in the area, and Officers were unable to locate them during a patrol of the area.
  • On 11/13/20 at 2110 hours, Officers responded to an anonymous complaint of possible shots fired in the area of 1966 Cherokee St. Officers reported they did not see any signs of shots being fired in the area and did not locate anyone needing Police assistance.
  • On 11/15/20 at 1224 hours, Officers responded to a burglary at 718 Park Blvd. The resident reported they noticed their fence was damaged when they returned home, and that two of their bikes had been stolen from the home.
  • 11/20/20 at 1225 hours, Officers responded to an alarm at 2663 Oleander St. The resident was on scene advising their backdoor was opened. Officers arrived and determined the back door had been kicked in. Officers cleared the home and did not find anyone inside. The resident advised nothing appeared to be missing.
  • 11/27/20 at 0836 hours, Officers responded to the 2900 block of Kleinert Ave. relative to an anonymous complaint of a black female with blue hair pulling on door knobs in the area. Officers located and contacted the female, Angela Coleman. Coleman advised she only pulled on a door to a home that had a for sale sign in the yard. Officers could not take any further actions, other than warning Coleman to stay away, since the complainant was anonymous (meaning there was no victim to say a crime occurred).

October 2020

  • On 10/3/20 at 1840 hours, Officers responded to the 1800 block of Tulip St. relative to a suspicious incident. The complainant advised a black male in a bright pink shirt was banging on several residence doors in the neighborhood. The complainant advised the male had been riding a bike through the neighborhood since 1300 hours as well. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate the male.
  • On 10/4/20 at 0519 hours, Officers responded to the 2100 block of Oleander St. relative to an anonymous complaint of a black male pulling on car door handles. Officers patrolled the area and did not observe anyone in the area.
  • On 10/6/20 at 1213 hours, Officers responded to a home invasion at 2512 Olive St. that occurred at 0200 hours. The resident advised she and her ex-boyfriend began arguing so she asked him to leave her residence. He left and later returned without permission. When the resident attempted to call Police, the ex-boyfriend grabbed her phone and slammed it into the floor, causing it to break. The resident grabbed her firearm and asked the ex-boyfriend to leave but he slapped her in the face. The resident advised the ex-boyfriend eventually left but she was unable to call Police until now when she used someone’s phone to call. The resident advised she did not wish to press charges against the ex-boyfriend.
  • On 10/8/20 at 0040 hours, Officers responded to the 2500 block of Olive St. relative to a disturbance. The resident advised her ex-boyfriend was beating on her bedroom window. The ex-boyfriend was no longer there upon Officer’s arrival.
  • On 10/9/2020 at 1604 hours, a resident in the 2500 block of Olive St. called the telephone reporting unit to report their ex-boyfriend slashed their tires overnight on 10/8/2020-10/9/2020. The resident did not notice the damage until they woke up this morning.
  • On 10/10/20 at 1004 hours, a resident in the 2500 block of Olive St. reported that she had just returned home as she was away overnight due to the hurricane. Upon returning, she noticed several windows in the back of her home had been busted. The resident thinks their ex-boyfriend busted the windows overnight but was not sure as they could’ve been damaged in one of the ex-boyfriend’s prior cases and she was just noticing them.
  • On 10/18/20 at 1921 hours, a resident in the 900 block of Park Bl. called the 2nd District desk to report a male subject walked onto their porch and stole two packages on 10/17/20 at 2158 hours. The resident advised they would turn surveillance into Officers at a later date and they did not provide a description over the phone.
  • On 10/21/20 at 1105 hours, Officers responded to 2101 Klienert Ave. relative to a man down in the area. Officers located a male experiencing medical issues in the area and EMS transported him to a hospital for treatment.
  • On 10/23/20 at 1405 hours, the complaintant reported a theft from 2354 Myrtle Ave. to the telephone reporting unit. The complainant stated he paid a male to do a plumbing job at that location. The male was also given the supplies needed to do the job. The male did not complete the job or return the supplies.
  • On 10/27/20 at 0757 hours, Officers responded to a burglary at 1930 Oleander St. The complainant reported both vehicles in their driveway were burglarized overnight. The suspect stole a diaper bag and coin change from the vehicles.
  • On 10/28/20 at 1503 hours, Officers responded to a suspicious incident in the 700 block of Park Bl. The complainant advised they observed a white male pull out a large meat cleaver on a group of children that was playing. Officers patrolled the area but were unable to locate any white males walking in the area that matched the description the complainant provided.
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Claire PittmanFall 2020 Security Update