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Scary Town | Colleen Smidt

The end of October heralds the arrival of a holiday that kicks off a season of festivities and celebrations. That holiday is Halloween.

Spooky thrills and the nearly endless supply of candy and yummy treats have families and individuals flocking to a host of events that our community has to offer.

Despite the loss of the long time Sheridan Recreation Center event hosted by the city of Bremerton, many other private, neighborhood or community events will still be available for community enjoyment.

The downtown Bremerton event is one of my favorites and the newly added Charleston Historic District event now in its second year appears to be gaining popularity. For those that desire a more involved and adult type scare, there is the Haunted Fairgrounds that run Friday’s and Saturdays from Oct. 12 to Nov. 3.

For our family this will most likely be the last year that we continue to open the door of our home to tricker-treaters. We have made this decision for a host of reasons, but the primary one is the currently level of and types of crimes going on in our community this past year. More than one unsolved murder, multiple shootings, beatings, a bomb scare, an escalation in property damage complaints including paint cans being thrown at the glass doors of businesses are a part of it. Combined with the fact that the most basic applications of public safety such as visible and maintained crosswalks have yet to materialize after two full years of discussion, failed promises and requests has us rethinking many the activities around town that we have so taken for granted as “safe” in the past.

Sure all communities have certain fluctuations in crime. That is to be expected. What is lacking in the expectation department is how a host of community leaders, both elected and appointed, are handling these situations. To describe many of the leadership efforts as apathetic is being generous. I know that many of the actual workers, those who are left, in the police department and public works are doing everything they can. The lack of engagement and community participation by their leadership however is hurting all of us.

I don’t want Bremerton to be a year round scary town. So many residents are investing in their neighborhoods and homes. They are assisting in the clean up and maintenance of Bremerton areas where and when they can. To keep citizens engaged, organized and to keep these types of efforts continuing well into the future, a certain amount of city response efforts and actual partnering support is necessary.

The city of Bremerton is currently at an important point in time, in the coming months, where the selection and arrival of a new police chief will be a pivotal decision. This new person has the opportunity to be a fundamental building block for an improved future of public safety, awareness and community participation for and with the citizens of Bremerton.

I want to be able to keep my door open to not just tricker-treaters but to my community as a whole. I need the leadership of Bremerton to help me do that.

Happy Halloween, Bremerton.

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