MetroWest -- it can afford to tame crime

Full story: El Sentinel 68
Kevin Azzouz was in the midst of building his lavish town center when the outlaws arrived in MetroWest. Full Story
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Kelley

Lakeland, FL

#1 Jul 1, 2007
I live in MetroWest. I am an active member of our community. Crime in MetroWest is done with.

There are over 10,000 residents in MetroWest, more than 5 times larger than neighboring Windermere. We do our own security with the help of the Orlando Police Department off-duty officers. Windermere has a police department; We should have created our own security operation years ago.

Ken Simback (President) and the Master Association Board have a permanent full time OPD operations center and we will keep MetroWest safe.

We have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY.

Thanks to Commissioner Sam Ings for his tremendous support.
Avery

Lakeland, FL

#2 Jul 1, 2007
I've been saying this to our HOA people for two years. If Windermere can have their own police why can't we? When they started the OPD off-duty a few months ago you could see them everywhere. What took Azzouz so long to do something? He should have done it a year ago.
James

Bowling Green, SC

#3 Jul 1, 2007
I was hangin at the Barnies on Friday and the cops came in for donuts (ha ha) and they had given out over 20 speeding tickets. They even got a guy with a stolen car drivin thru MW. Mike Thomas Rules!
Orlando Homegrown

United States

#4 Jul 1, 2007
Check out Azzouz on YouTube. I got an email with this yesterday.

www.youtube.com/watch...

If the link doesn't work go to YouTube and search "MetroWest Orlando"
Westpointe

Marion, NC

#5 Jul 1, 2007
A couple of teens in our subdivision whose parents are doctors tried to break into the Chevron at Veranda Park to steal some beer a few weeks ago and the cops were on them within a minute. That's scary fast. They had already broken the glass window but didn't get to the beer before they were cuffed.

“Stop SLAPP Suits Now!”

Since: May 07

Orlando

#6 Jul 1, 2007
We are defenitely on the same side on this issue. If it takes a Police Officer on every corner, then that is what we have to do. I am for a safe community where all citizens can exercise their pusuit of happiness.

I am very happy to see Hi-Tech coming to Law Enforcement also. It's about time.

For many years, I worked the tourist corridor of International Dr. with it's crime problem. Many times we asked, why don't they install cameras in these hot areas? We all knew where these hot spots were, and still are. It is all about who controls the money and how they use it.

If what Kevin Azzouz has done has combated crime, then I applaud his efforts and support them also.

Maybe Metrowest should become it's own city. With an elected government by the people like in Windermere. Kevin Azzouz and Veranda Partners have "assumed" the role as the government. They can make laws, as in their deeds and restrictions, they have the power to tax, in HOA Fees and "Special Assessments", they have the power to control enforcement, as in hiring their own Police Dept, and they can punish those that voice their opinions or question their actions. Our system of governement has checks and balances, and where are they here?

I learned many years ago that in our American system, the "ends" do not justify the "means".

Plenty of time for that debate.

The Orlando Police Officers are some of the best and do a great job. We do respect the law and those that are chosen to enforce it.

It's time for my morning coffee and drive by the fountain. I actually do like that fountain.

It's a beautiful day in Metrowest. Enjoy them because hurricane season is coming.

Chili Palmer

Shreveport, LA

#7 Jul 1, 2007
So what you're saying essentially is we need more money for police presence to combat crime in our other neighborhoods. The ones that can't afford to hire their own cops.
Since one of the reasons crime is on the rise here is because of tourists - they're easy prey for criminals - we should be able to use some of the Tourist Development Tax for more police. The tax should be used to correct problems caused by so many tourists here.

What's it going to take to get our legislators to amend the TDT so it can be used for real problems, instead of arenas we don't need? Any insight on it Mike?
Old Timer

Orlando, FL

#8 Jul 1, 2007
Chili Palmer's right. It takes more money for the OPD but more importantly look at the way Azzouz went after the crime. Money can easily be wasted if you put the OPD in the wrong place at the wrong time. Azzouz is using some kind of computer program to track criminals. We need better technology AND more money for OPD.
miket

Orlando, FL

#9 Jul 1, 2007
''What's it going to take to get our legislators to amend the TDT so it can be used for real problems, instead of arenas we don't need? Any insight on it Mike?''

Hey guys, thanks for reading. The vast majority of people want at least some of the TDT freed up for local uses. However, this is poison to the tourism industry, which fears we will start gouging the tourists to pay for everything. Since they give the campaign contributions and residents don't hold their legislators accountable on this issue, it will never happen.
I do question whether or not they could use the TDT to fund police patrols in tourists areas, however. This then would free up public dollars that are spent on that to be spent on patrols in other areas.
cheers.
hope I didnt spell anything wrong!
mike

Chili Palmer

United States

#10 Jul 1, 2007
miket wrote:
''What's it going to take to get our legislators to amend the TDT so it can be used for real problems, instead of arenas we don't need? Any insight on it Mike?''
Hey guys, thanks for reading. The vast majority of people want at least some of the TDT freed up for local uses. However, this is poison to the tourism industry, which fears we will start gouging the tourists to pay for everything. Since they give the campaign contributions and residents don't hold their legislators accountable on this issue, it will never happen.
I do question whether or not they could use the TDT to fund police patrols in tourists areas, however. This then would free up public dollars that are spent on that to be spent on patrols in other areas.
cheers.
hope I didnt spell anything wrong!
mike
Thanks for the reply, Mike. So you think if enough voters spoke out to their legislators, combined with some hoteliers also supporting it, something could happen?
Then it seems like some newspaper stories and/or columns are in order, because that will get voters talking about it. Howzabout it? Never say never...

Since Rosen came out and said he'd like to see some of it used for more cops a couple weeks ago, it seems like the time is ripe for it to happen. Just needs some publicity and discussion. I would think that some hoteliers would follow Rosen's lead, given the publicity that Orlando's crime rate has gotten recently.

I see their point about gouging tourists and agree, but at least a small percentage of that money should be used for things that have become problems BECAUSE of the tourists - traffic control, much better mass transit or light rail, and definitely more cops, but NOT funding a building for a billionaire.(Sorry, that's my pet peeve).

Seems to me that if tourists could get around quickly, cheaply and easily without renting cars, many of them would be more likely to come back and spend more money (especially if they didn't get robbed while here). And talk about what a great experience they had to all of their friends.
Get real

Orlando, FL

#11 Jul 1, 2007
Re this from Miket:

"The vast majority of people want at least some of the TDT freed up for local uses. However, this is poison to the tourism industry, which fears we will start gouging the tourists to pay for everything. Since they give the campaign contributions and residents don't hold their legislators accountable on this issue, it will never happen."

Doesn't this suggest that if residents were to hold their elected officials accountable on this issue, it would happen?

Suppose voters made it an issue that we do not want a dimished quality of life as a result of the "tourism industry"? Suppose voters made quality of life an issue by putting in office people willing to make tourist dollars pay for things like more police, remedies for the traffic congestion and air and water pollution caused by tourism, counterbalances to the reduced sense of community with its attendant social costs, and ways to balance the ugliness of the signage and overbuilt roadsides?

Correcting social and environmental insufficiencies would mean not only a better quality of life for residents but also a better quality of tourism. Look at how the Europeans, even though the euro is worth over 50% more against the dollar than it was 4 years ago, are staying away in droves.
miket

Orlando, FL

#12 Jul 1, 2007
If legislators actually were voted out of office for not expanding use of the resort tax, it would be expanded yesterday.
I didn't know Harris Rosen suggested using the TDT for police. I think that's a good idea in that it would allow the county to buy more deputies for the rest of Orange.

mike

“Cause Im as free as a bird now”

Since: Jun 07

Orlando, FL

#13 Jul 1, 2007
Chili Palmer

United States

#14 Jul 2, 2007
miket wrote:
If legislators actually were voted out of office for not expanding use of the resort tax, it would be expanded yesterday.
I didn't know Harris Rosen suggested using the TDT for police. I think that's a good idea in that it would allow the county to buy more deputies for the rest of Orange.
mike
Here you go, from WFTV, June 14:
http://www.wftv.com/news/13503658/detail.html

Of course we know that he has an agenda, but if he can start the ball rolling so it's under consideration that would be a good thing potentially.

As I see it, there are several major issues here that the public needs to know about and react to in order to change the system:
A major portion (80%? just guessing) of TDT already goes to tourism advertising/marketing
There is NO oversight on the Tourism board, so we don't even know if the money is being spent wisely (this HAS to change, needs to be publicly accountable)
A percentage of TDT should be relegated to infrastructure to deal with massive amounts of tourists (5% police, 5% traffic mgmt, 5% mass tranist improvements? just throwing it out there).
This is a huge pot of money, and while I agree they shouldn't be gouged, they should be paying to fix problems they create. It's common sense.

Seems like I had another issue, but can't remember right now and gotta go do some work... Thanks for the reply Mike.
Concerned Homeowner

Redwood City, CA

#15 Jul 2, 2007
This problem is with district 5 and 6 that Metrowest is in. Our last commissioner was convicted and the new one wants to build a rec center so kids from outside of Metrowest has a place to go. He also wants to open Turkey Lake park for free so we can pay higher taxes for more crime to our area. Commissioner Ings voted against a police sub station in Metrowest because it was in distrist 5. We need to redistrict Metrowest so can vote for a Commission that has the best interest of Metrowest and not the surrounding areas. That is why they allowed Wal Mart to be build and we now have a crime problem.
Smelling a Rat

Sanford, FL

#17 Jul 10, 2007
REYES THE TRUTH BE TOLD wrote:
You people are living in a fantasy World, Oh wait Your all White. And I bet all republicans. FACT IS CRIME IN YOUR AREA IS UP 100%. WE ARE ABOUT TO CHANG THAT. So is the Wall Street Journal. You post Lies so you can Sell your homes to people that don't have a CLUE that METRO WEST IS NOW THE NEW GHETTO AKA GHETTO WEST. THERE ARE MURDERS IN YOU BACK YARDS. HOLD UPS AND CAR JACKINGS. Less than one tenth of a mile is subsidized homeís and apartments. And you even have a bigger problem with the prostitution in METRO WEST. Why don't you go on Craigs list . com and see how many prostitutes operate out of your so called luxurious Metro West. HERE IS THE LINK in case your personal assistance are off for the day.. Craigslist.com , You can also go to my website and check out all the crime and cases going on in GHETTO WEST AKA METRO WEST. DONíT BUY HOMES IN METRO WEST. YOU WILL NEVER SELL IT. metrowestcrime.info or metrowestdanger.com
MetroWest is now Orlando's Safest Neighborhood...LIKE IT OR NOT...SOUNDS LIKE YOU JUST CAN'T STAND YOURSELF SINCE WE'VE NOW ACTUALLY MADE OURSELVES MORE DESIRABLE THAN DR PHILLIPS or whatever hole you're living in...WELL TOO BAD FOR YOU. Those of us living in MetroWest who actually have REAL information about our AMAZING return to a crime-free neighborhood are just wondering: WHY WOULD SOMEONE GO TO ALL THE TROUBLE TO CREATE TWO WEB SITES THAT HAMMER METROWEST...come on out of the woodwork and show yourself coward.
Carl Spackler

Miami, FL

#19 Jul 10, 2007
Why would this person or company go thru all this trouble to bash a community that is paying for its own policing? Doesn't make sense unless there is money or vendetta involved. And given Mr. Azzous's proclivity to sue people for speaking up especially by using the internet - this guy just painted a big "Sue me" sign on his back.

Since you apparently can't post "personal" info at Topix - even though this information is public info and easily obtainable at any site who will do a whois lookup...just do a search on Google for "Statusphere Orlando" to see the company who owns the sites. Hint: he used his real name posting here on Topix.(It's not like he's hiding.)

I'm posting this as I'm betting Topix will delete the other post showing the name, email and phone number of the company that owns those domains - even though, as I said, it is public information and freely available. Anyone can look up the registration information for any domain name for free at sites like domaintools.com or whois.sc.

I just don't get what the point of those sites is. REYES went thru some trouble and expense to register and host these sites...for what reason? Perhaps REYES can tell us. And it all reads like crazy talk like his post here. Rampant prostitution? Based on craigslists posts? c'mon.
Carl Spackler

Miami, FL

#20 Jul 10, 2007
last thing I'm going to say on these lousy sites...
You can't even spell Orlando right, so how is anyone going to take you seriously?

BTW, half of your supposed exposed info is from Pine Hills news, and the other half is way old news - long before the self-policing occurred.

And then there are the blatant lies such as the Wall Street Journal ranking Orlando #1 in crime. That's not true at all. First off, WSJ didn't do a ranking, they did an article about crime on June 27th. Orlando was ranked #25 on the list (I'd post the link, but you can't do that here - to see it do a search on Google for "wall street journal crime orlando").

Terrible news being ranked at all, I agree, but you are lying completely with your main headline. And how does that relate to just Metrowest crime and this topic of self-policing and how it is working? It is an article about Orange County/Orlando as a whole.

I say keep the sites up. Anyone with half a brain will see right through them and consider your sites as the ramblings of a crackpot with an agenda other than exposing criminal activity.
METROWEST THE NEW GHETTO

Kissimmee, FL

#21 Jul 11, 2007
Metrowest has now become the new Ghetto West of Orlando,THAT IS A FACT PEOPLE. Crime is still going on. People are moving out in Droves. They want nothing to do in MetroWest. Buyers are moving out and posting super cheap rent, just to make the mortgage payments. go to craigslist and see all the homes / condos for rent some in gated community. They are so cheap, And what happens when rent is cheap the drug dealers, sex offenders, and crime moves in. The reason people are moving is due to crime. Metrowest has gone down hill. It used to be Hip to live there Back in the day like 15 years ago BUT NOT ANYMORE. The crime wave of MetroWest lives on. I have personally seen employees of Walmart selling drugs in the parking lot. Family's should pack up there things and move away from Metrowest AKA (Ghetto West) ASAP. Metrowest / Veranda Park is considered the worst place to raise a family its just not safe. www.metrowestdanger.com is telling the truth. Let the Truth Be heard... I noted that no one From OPD has backed up this 0 Crime News letter.. Nor as the Local Tv News. Also Video Cameras don't stop crime they only Help solve it after the fact....
THIS IS BULLSHlT

Kissimmee, FL

#22 Jul 11, 2007
Metrowest has now become the new Ghetto West of Orlando,THAT IS A FACT PEOPLE. Crime is still going on. People are moving out in Droves. They want nothing to do in MetroWest. Buyers are moving out and posting super cheap rent, just to make the mortgage payments. go to craigslist and see all the homes / condos for rent some in gated community. They are so cheap, And what happens when rent is cheap the drug dealers, sex offenders, and crime moves in. The reason people are moving is due to crime. Metrowest has gone down hill. It used to be Hip to live there Back in the day like 15 years ago BUT NOT ANYMORE. The crime wave of MetroWest lives on. I have personally seen employees of Walmart selling drugs in the parking lot. Family's should pack up there things and move away from Metrowest AKA (Ghetto West) ASAP. Metrowest / Veranda Park is considered the worst place to raise a family its just not safe. www.metrowestdanger.com is telling the truth. Let the Truth Be heard... I noted that no one From OPD has backed up this 0 Crime News letter.. Nor as the Local Tv News. Also Video Cameras don't stop crime they only Help solve it after the fact....

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