Eagle Eyes (Forest Hills Grid 18)

Re-Cap of Meetings

July 26th, 2012

This evening began joint meetings with Grid 10 (from the north side of Linebaugh; their grid coordinator moved 2 years ago and they have not had a NHW meeting since).

There were 9 attendees including Lisa Timmer from TPD and Lorena Hardwick, the Legislative Aide from Mike Suarez’s office (one of 3 “at-large” Tampa City Councilmen).  The good thing about this is that a smaller group made for more interaction amongst us.

Lisa reports that so far this year there have been about 15 burglaries in Grid 18 – almost all during the daylight hours of approximately 8am until about 4pm. In Grid 10 there have been approximately 3 burglaries. She says these numbers are pretty consistent with what is normal for our grids. She also suggests that when there is a knock at your front door, don’t remain silent. Even if you don’t wish to engage with the person, announce yourself as being home (“Sorry, I can’t talk right now. Please leave.” or something similar). Otherwise, they often will assume that nobody is home and simply go around to your back door and kick it in, or break a back window to enter.

Lorena began by passing out some info and statistics related to the community revitalization projects for Tampa, which has already begun with the Briarwood/University Square/Terrace Park communities. The conversation shifted to the Forest Hills area and some of its needs. Community involvement  and organization is probably the biggest issue we face. The specific topics were traffic, storm water control and deficient street lighting. The traffic conversation centered around excessive speeding on Linebaugh  and  the traffic logjam/speeding issues associated with Forest Hills Elementary. It was once again brought up that we really need flashing speed drop-down lights around the perimeter of the schools (Forest Hills and Adams) – meaning on Linebaugh, Bouganvillea, and Ola; there is already a flashing light in front of Adams on N.Boulevard. Flashing lights that also have the electronic  “current speed”  monitors would be even better. All of these issues require better organization and communication among the residents in order to get them addressed.

There is a new principal assigned to Forest Hills Elementary School for this upcoming academic year. Her name is Krystal Carson, and she has spent the past 8 years at Dunbar Elementary in Old West Tampa. Outgoing Forest Hills principal Sandra Thrower is retiring after spending the past 15 years at FHE.  It was suggested that perhaps the advent of a new principal (“change begets change”) could be used as a springboard to shift the attitude of the community, and that perhaps a partnership of peace and harmony between the school and the community could be re-formed. The schools have not been the center of the community since back in the days before the schools were split into centers for 6th and 7th grade, due to the bussing issues associated with legislated integration. Although Forest Hills is most assuredly not the only community in the city, or even the country, where this has happened, it is past time for the neighborhood to once again rally around our schools and establish better relations between the residents and the school communities. The children are our future . . . future doctors, mechanics, lawyers, first responders, and yes --- parents. We need to assure that they receive the best education and community experiences possible, so that they may grow up to be first class citizens.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm.

Our next NHW meeting will take place the end of October (date to be announced once the reservation for the meeting hall is confirmed).








January 26, 2012

Our scheduled guest speaker was unable to attend. Seven attendees decided to just kick around some information and ideas, and exchanges some incidents that had occurred since our September meeting.

Biggest thing to screen at this time seems to be  door-to-door solicitors whom several neighbors said they felt were actually casing our area under the guise of security system sales. It was suggested that, since there is an ordinance against such solicitations, that when approached by one you might want to call TPD and have them intercepted.

It was decided to add one more NHW meeting per year. We will now meet quarerly: January, April, July and October; hopefully we can keep our standard "last Thursday of the month" schedule for our meetings. The only exception could be the October meeting, as we wouldn't want our NHW meeting to coincide with the trick-or-treat activities.

We still need to ramp up our Mobile Patrols. In order to take part in official TPD sanctioned Mobile Patrols, you must attend a one hour training class; please contact EagleEyeGrid18@YAHOO.com to reserve a space in a class. If anyone decides they want to go out on their own to do their own patrols, PLEASE be sure to travel in pairs rather than going alone - even if you are in a vehicle.

The meeting adjourned at 2010 hours. Many thanks to those who attended for their valuable input.





September 29, 2011

13 attendees gathered to discuss various issues with Distric 7 Councilwoman Lisa Montelione. Topics covered ranged from inadequate storm water drainage to panhandling to homeless shelters/assistance centers to school traffic issues.

There was no attendance from TPD for ths meeting, so we did not have crime statistics available for the past 4 months. Several attendees brought to our attention that there has been a rash of bicycle thefts from privacy-fenced back yards in our grid.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm, but continued "under the stars" outside in the parking lot with the Councilwoman.


May 26, 2011

12 attendees -- some from Grid 10 -- heard our guest speaker, Jason from Walk Wise, give a very interesting presentation about pedestrian safety. Our thanks to Jason for his time. And our thanks to the attendees from Grid 10 for joining us. We’re all the same neighborhood with the same issues of interest regarding safety and helping each other out. We hope those same folks bring more friends for our next meeting in September.

Lisa Timmer of TPD answered questions regarding a few recent criminal incidents within our grid.

January 27, 2011

This meeting was attended by Lisa Timmer of TPD and 2 NHW members; Grid Coordinator Paul was unable to attend. The discussion centered around the recent LEO shootings -- it was mentioned that LEO shootings tend to be cyclical -- and how much respect we have for the LEOs who lay their lives on the line daily to keep us all safe. The crime trends for our area as well as overall were discussed. Lisa shared the 2010 calendar year report of police activity in our grid. Lisa said that for the 2010 calendar year, there had been 75 call-ins for suspicious activity --- either suspicious vehicles or suspicious persons. That is a pretty good number, meaning that even though a lot of folks don’t participate in the meetings, a lot of people are participating in Neighborhood Watch and being responsible, by WATCHING! So a big THANK YOU to all who aren’t shy about picking up the phone to report suspicious activity, thereby nipping in the bud potential criminal activities. That’s the way NHW is supposed to work!


September, 2010

This meeting was held at the new North Tampa Public Library. After the attending officer spoke and accepted questions, the head librarian at this facility as well as the area supervisor for library services addressed concerns that residents had brought up at the May meeting. These concerns – students in the library hanging out and creating disruption, as well as students hanging out in the library parking lot preventing cars from utilizing avail parking space – have been addressed, and the library staff encourages residents to continue using the library facility and see that the students are no longer causing a disruption to library patrons. Also it was announced that the library will begin Sunday afternoon hours of operation within the next month.


January 21, 2010

 A big “Thank You” to Max Robin and crew of Maxion Self Defense System for a very intriguing seminar tonight. A number of us walked out of the meeting feeling a bit better about how to handle ourselves in case of an attempted assault! If anyone is interested in pursuing additional training in a martial arts system of defense, Max’s number is 813-841-6650. There are also a few You Tube videos of Maxion on-line, if you are interested, plus Max has self defense tapes for sale.


We had 18 residents in attendance of this meeting, which was lead by Paul Wetmore. A TPD lieutenant spoke for about 25 minutes and entertained questions. One item of interest was from a resident on Highland Avenue who presented the following 2 incidents:


This evening between 5 – 6pm 4 teenaged boys knocked on his front door; only his wife was home and she did not answer the door. Both he & his wife feel that their house was being cased by the suspicious activity of the kids. On another occasion last week a teenaged boy had been seen coming out of his neighbor’s back yard between 7:30 – 8am on a school morning. The boy had no business with the resident or any of the residents of that block. The boy may have been a truant, or he may have been part of a group of kids casing the area.


Bottom line is: if you witness any incident of this nature, call TPD’s non emergency number (231-6130) and report this as suspicious activity, before it developes into a criminal incident. We must be PRO-ACTIVE in order to keep our homes and neighborhood safe.


The Lieutenant also reiterated the importance of keeping a record of serial numbers for your belongings, such as bicycles, tvs, computers, etc. One thing he did not mention, but that another TPD lieutenant mentioned at a previous meeting, is to be sure to record the manufacturer of these appliances as well. Some electronics manufacturers use the same serial numbers, so if you report a stolen Dell computer that was actually an HP, the serial number wouldn’t flag from pawn shop records. If you have the serial #s and manufacturers names of your belongings, when it is recovered they can walk it back to your front door. Otherwise, it goes to the impound lot.


Thanks to everyone who attended tonight’s meeting. A few people commented that they were disappointed that the meeting broke up as soon as the self defense seminar was over, because they had things that they were hoping to discuss. Sorry it worked out that way; next meeting we should have a time blocked out for a question & answer session pertaining to neighborhood issues.


Hope to see you all again in May ---- with a guest or two.

 See you on the sidewalk!!


September 24, 2009

 The meeting was led by Paul Wetmore. Our guest officer from TPD said the criminal activity in our grid is down.

(That was welcome news! But we need to keep vigilant to be sure it stays down, especially with school back in session and the holidays just around the corner – both bringing increased traffic to the neighborhood.)

 There are a couple of elderly residents throughout the grid that may have need of some assistance. The best way to handle their situation(s) was discussed, and the buck has passed along to Lisa Timmer for further review and recommendations as to how NHW can best help. If you know of any neighbor who may need some assistance, such as an elderly or disabled person who is having trouble maintaining the bushes around their house, needs help with raking, mowing,  window pane replaced, etc,  or is fearful of someone or something, please notify your block leader or the web master as soon as possible. That’s what being neighborly is all about.

 Paul mentioned the forms for businesses that might be interested in participating in neighborhood watch, as there are some establishments near our grid. 

 A participant asked about Mobile Patrol and any upcoming training will be e-mailed to those interested.  If you are interested in training please contact your block leader or the web master for further information or to be placed on the e-mail list.

 There are some concerns on Hidden Oaks Circle about the individual who has a business vehicle that oftentimes blocks view when leaving the area.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 8pm.

May 28, 2009

Thanks to all who attended!

The meeting was called to order @ 7:05pm with a “Roll Call” of the evening shift TPD Squad 205 and Major John Bennett. Maj. Bennett spoke initially, informed the group of the previous evening’s arrest in Grid 10 -- right around the corner from our meeting location -- of 2 male youths for attempted auto burglary, possession of marijuana & possession of stolen property. This arrest was made due to the vigilance of the Neighborhood Watch members of Grid 10. Lt. Lee, the evening shift commander for Cycle A, spoke briefly, then introduced the shift sargeant, Sgt. Allen, who, after introducing his shift officers individually, conducted Roll Call & passed on information pertinent to their shift work.

In the absence of the Grid Coordinator, a Block Leader from Grid 18 chaired the meeting. Follow up to previous complaints made in other meetings appeared to show that the instances of speeders and loud boom boxes-on-wheels has become less frequent. Nobody approached any newly divulged “hot spots” within Grid 18 over and above the already known ones; there is still dumping going on in some areas which is not being picked up by the solid waste dept, which will be addressed in the near future. There are open-air drug deals happening up on Linebaugh, especially at the car wash and Mobil station; there are also open-air drug deals going on within Grid 18, especially on Floriland at various street corners (this latter information was not discussed during the meeting). The graffiti party which occurred in Grid 10 in April was discussed. There was a “Roll Call” held May 16, 2009 at a vacant house @ 208 W. Linebaugh which was well attended by the immediate neighborhood.

The Farm Stores break-ins were mentioned. There have been 5 incidents of break-ins since New Years of this year, items stolen are cigarettes. There have been 2 arrests made in connection with the 4th break-in.

Lisa Timmer gave a quick test of observation skills, then produced the statistics of incidents in Grid 18 for the past 3 months. Most of the activity is auto burglaries; there was 1 auto theft. Most other incidents involved business on Florida Avenue.

The subject of traffic relative to the schools was again brought up. We need an active campaign to get flashing lights installed near the crosswalk on Linebaugh. Something needs to be done with regard to the school traffic on Ola in front of Forest Hills Elementary. It was requested that we start a campaign to email the mayor’s office about these topics.

Information was given with regard to how to contact the city for problems such as storm sewer issues, etc.

No new issues were introduced.

The meeting officially adjourned at 8:20pm. There were further discussions held “under the street lights” until approximately 9:20.



January 29, 2009

The meeting was led by Paul Wetmore (our grid coordinator), who braved the rainy night along with 14 neighbor attendees. Several TPD officers stopped in, including Officer Croissant, who stated that crime in Forest Hills is down. He also said that the proper non-emergency number for TPD is 231-6130(these calls go thru to the dispatcher); the 931-6500 number goes to District 2 headquarters and is mainly a general information number. All of the officers reiterated that we should NOT BE HESITANT to call 911 for a suspicious activity in progress -- they would rather make multiple 911 responses that turn out to be nothing, than not respond when there truly is a problem. Let the police decide whether your call is warranted or not! That is their job.

Our guest speaker was Ed, the owner of Action Lock and Safe , which is located at 4053 Gunn Hwy. at W. Linebaugh, who presented many examples and samples of means by which to secure your house, including a specially designed lock for sliding glass doors (one per door, cost is APPROXIMATELY $35 per lock). His service charge is $45 to come to your home and help you make a survey to assess your security needs or to perform an installation for you. He gave tips on general safety, safes, security systems (including cameras and super-heavy-duty deadbolts) proper installation of deadbolts, etc.

With regards to home safes, Ed recommends that you bolt your safe into the concrete floor to prevent a burglar from simply picking up the safe and walking out with your valuables neatly packaged inside of it.


Sept. 25, 2008

The meeting was led by Paul Wetmore (our grid coordinator) and TPD District 2 Shift Commander Lt.Dan Lyons. Lt.Lyons' opening comments were how very important Neighborhood Watch is in providing aid to the police department; they need our eyes and ears to assist them.

Officer Lyons discussed the recent break-ins in our area and city-wide. He said that the burglars are spending 3 minutes or less in a residence to walk out with ANYTHING electronic--even 50 inch plasma tvs -- plus jewelry and any loose cash that is lying around. That hardly gives a TPD operator enough time to dispatch a squad car before the burglars are in their car and GONE!! Witnesses need to concentrate on descriptions of the burglars and their vehicles, because the short time factor might make those descriptions the telling tale as to whether the burglars get apprehended. The burglars are extremely bold, frequently kicking in the front door in plain view, but often times under the cover a back window or door.

{Folks, it's going to get worse before it gets better. The only way to slow them down is to keep our eyes and ears open, and let our presence be known. When they see people out, they are less inclined to make mischief. Also, if the police are called to investigate suspicious activity -- YOU DO NOT have to give your name when you call -- it lets the criminals know they are being watched. Please consider becoming a Mobile Patrol volunteer: the home you protect might be your own.}

Sample pages of the new web site were also distributed for review, since there was no laptop available to get a live viewing.

We hope this web site continues to provide you with useful information, and that it brings our community together to better assist one another.

Posted by forest hills on 06/27/2009
Last updated by aquarius9721 on 07/27/2012
Sponsored Links
Advertise Here!

Promote Your Business or Product for $10/mo


For just $10/mo you can promote your business or product directly to nearby residents. Buy 12 months and save 50%!


Zip Code Profiler

33612 Zip Code Details

Neighborhoods, Home Values, Schools, City & State Data, Sex Offender Lists, more.