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Posted on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:56 a.m.

Top Ann Arbor public safety officials to meet with Old West Side residents today

By Kyle Feldscher

Top Ann Arbor public safety officials will speak to residents of Ann Arbor’s Old West Side neighborhood at a public forum today at Bach Elementary School.

Ann Arbor police Chief Barnett Jones, Ann Arbor Fire Department Chief Chuck Hubbard and Fire Marshal Kathleen Chamberlain and University of Michigan Public Safety Department Chief Greg O’Dell all will be in attendance at the meeting of the Old West Side Association. The meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. today at Bach School, 600 W. Jefferson St.


A 20-year-old woman was sexually assaulted on South First Street near West William Street Sept. 13. Police said the assault was believed to be related to six other attacks that occurred earlier this summer.

Melanie Maxwell I

Barbara Murphy, vice president of the Old West Side Association, said the forum is for residents to have their questions answered by public safety leaders. She said there’s many in the area that are worried that cuts to fire and police personnel are putting Ann Arbor residents’ safety in jeopardy.

“There’s been continual talk for the past few years about how there are changes but no real cutbacks in services, just cut backs in staffing, but the same services exist,” she said. “But, it doesn’t seem like they do.”

Murphy said the public safety officials will make a short statement and then will answer questions posed to them by residents who attend the meeting. They’re expected to cover how fire station closures might affect safety, what having fewer police officers on the street means for residents and how the Ann Arbor police work with the university’s public safety department.

The Old West Side was the scene of the latest sexual assault believed to be related to a string of other incidents in July that made national headlines.

A 20-year-old woman was attacked and fondled on Sept. 13 on the 400 block of South First Street. The attack was the first sexual assault away from the area surrounding the University of Michigan’s central campus that was believed to be related to the so-called “Ann Arbor Rapist.”

Murphy said the series of sexual assaults was definitely one of the main impetuses for the public safety forum. She said the entire community was troubled by the reports of sexual assaults, even before the September incident on First Street.

“The whole series of them, capped by that one,” she said after being asked if the sexual assaults played a role in holding the forum. “Even if there’s not one in the neighborhood, people are concerned about crime in general.”

This story has been revised to correct the time of the event.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 5:02 a.m.

"staff" is getting delete happy as you bask in your digital power do decide whose writing is fit for others to read. Would have been nice if someone was that worried about AA News before this generation's non stop tirade of leftist democrat gibberish ended their 135 year history.. Keep it up and I and others will go elsewhere and you can sit in front of your monitor until one of your many bosses suggests your time would be better spent in the mail room or delivering papers.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

I love it when all the A2's get all uptight about something. Snarky doesn't even begin to cover it. It is SOP for our neighborhood associations to meet with public officials in Ypsi, been doing it for many years. Call a meeting if you feel so neglected. And what I enjoy the most is how angry stopping for pedestrians A2's are. I guess you all never walk in A2? Have you all been ticketed for trying to run down thos pesky students? Is that the trouble? I for one am thrilled we are upgrading our crossings. In today's news a wheelchair was run down and killed by a driver.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

a wheelchair user was killed, you could say the wheelchair was destroyed too.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

A wheelchair?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Just curious as to how this meeting will turn out.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

Council is livid about all the crime and voilence distracting from their traffic engineering hobby. They passed and ordinance that tickets drivers for FAILING to slam on their brakes in traffic as a pedestrian APPROACHES A CROSS WALK. Council would like to remind everyone that the ordinance has not killed anyone yet!! lets get off this police, aggressvie bums, rapes, roberies and murders and forcus on their next traffic project!! ...have you seen the bike pavement markers down the middle of lanes on Washington Street yet - now that's some engineering!! INSANE.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

I agree with Barb- why are public officials only reaching out to the West Side Neighborhood association?? Sexual assaults and crime happen all over the city and is escalating? Is there a motive that this group would get special time with 'public officials" while the rest of us are not worthy?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

What snarky comments are those?

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

No medieval here, so why not give the snarky comments about the OWS a rest.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4 p.m.

"hut hut" prefers to take offense where none is intended instead of being excited about getting this much attention from the City and the local press. I think my new tagline should be, "Oh, for Pete's sake."

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

B2Pilot agrees with Barb, preferring to make derisive comments instead of knowing the facts No "special time". No "motive" other than to host a public meeting and talk to public servants. Frankly, I think everyone should thank the OWS for doing this instead of putting down an entire neighborhood. Maybe you have a few questions for the UM and A2 police chiefs?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Can I just say again, "Oh for Pete's sake"? I'm the VP of my neighborhood association and I know darn well that to get anyone in office to pay attention to your concerns, you need to be a squeaky wheel and if you manage to pull it off, good for you. In my mind that's a big compliment that if she pulled that off and got them to come to you guys and provide this info, then she's doing her neighborhood a huge service. And I would love to be there and I shall - thanks for the invite... You're not going to go all medieval on me for asking questions there too, are you?

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

Barb, your "guess" is wrong. Officials were asked to attend, They accepted. They weren't cajoled, nor was it a demand. No squeaky wheel here. Your snarky "squeaky wheel" comment belies your comment that you were only asking questions. Once again you wrongly assume that the OWS is a "squeaky wheel" only looking out for its own interests. The topic for the Fall Forum addresses the problems facing the ENTIRE CITY! These are public officials. They serve everyone equally. Even you.

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

Barb, you made assumptions without knowing the facts. "I'll bet the president makes her presence known" isn't very nice. Assuming that you have to "prove" you're an OWS resident to go to a public meeting at a public school tells us that you think that everyone in the OWS thinks they are better than everyone else. You also assumed that the OWS is getting special attention. It does not. Residents asked local officials to attend. They accepted. No special treatment here. You didn't ask questions, you made spiteful comments based on your assumptions of the OWS and its residents. Why don't you come to the meeting and see if your assumptions are true? Bring a friend. Ask the UM and A2 police chiefs a question.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:32 p.m.

Wow - "nasty" and "hateful"? How so? How about providing more information instead of getting defensive. Questions were just being asked.

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Please stop with the unnecessary and hateful comments. Especially if you don't know what you're talking about. Public officials are not "reaching out" to anyone. They were invited to attend a regular scheduled OWS Fall Forum. The OWS has regular forums every year. The OWS sponsors a (free) newsletter, hosts a Childrens' Day in Wurster Park and sponsors a free concert for seniors at Lurie Terrace. Once again, why the nasty comments? Why the jealousy? Do people believe the hype from a few ignorant commenters without actually knowing or caring about the facts? Why not come and take part instead of casting aspersions on an entire neighborhood? Why not form your own neighborhood association and get your neighbors involved in civic affairs instead of putting down the efforts of residents who care enough to do this?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

I'm guessing it's a squeaky wheel situation. They have a neighborhood association and I'll bet the president makes her presence known.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3 p.m.

I'm really glad that we have a fancy water fountain, it's much more useful then say replacing and old faded stop sign.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Well, that's interesting. I wonder if you have to prove you're a resident of the Old West Side in order to attend. I think all neighborhoods would like this kind of attention.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Oh, for Pete's sake. "Put down"? How about you re-read my comment without your hackles up and see that I was wishing this sort of Good Thing were available to all. How on earth is that a put down? Chill. Out.

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

Bra, you have no idea about what you're talking about.

hut hut

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:19 p.m.

Everyone is invited. Everyone can come. It's not a competition. The OWS Association has been around a long time and its interests are no different than any other neighborhood. Don't believe the nasty comments about the OWS by a few of the regular commenters here. Why do some people feel the need to put down something that is good and necessary? Why does anyone have to put down anyone or group who gets local officials to speak to ALL residents? This kind of attitude is what unnecessarily separates us. Hosting a meeting with local officials should be something that unites us.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

There are still laid off cops who should be on the streets.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

This is on-topic: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;v=_LeD6rlwX1I</a>


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

Yes, well my earlier post WAS on-topic but they yanked it anyway. Now they've left this one. You should feel cheated.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

No its not. It's silly and a waste of time. If it's supposed to be funny, it's not.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Great for them! Without the Mayor attending, hopefully these residents can obtain information unbiased or filtered from political expediency.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

A comment was removed because it was off-topic.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

Surprisingly, The Mayor is not among the officials answering questions. Just another politician who takes credit for everything, but responsibility for nothing.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Unfortunately, it's not really that surprising.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:06 a.m.

"Even if there's not one in the neighborhood, people are concerned about crime in general." Except for the Mayor, who is &quot;quite comfortable&quot; with the gutting of public services. Meanwhile, plenty of money appears to be available for spending on discretionary items. Why?