For the past couple of months Metro News Now has been following the block 100 area on the weekends. Block 100 is a area on the east end of Broadway in Council Bluffs that hosts a multitude of bar establishments.
Metro News Now started following this area because in the recent past we've received complaints from residents that are frustrated at the issues that occur in their neighborhood. We've even gotten complaints from citizens just driving through block 100.
It's no secret that on Friday and Saturday night this area becomes somewhat of a public nuisance to the residents that live in the area but also becomes a public and Police safety issue. Some of the issues that's been plaguing this area are large brawls, people urinating in public in front of peoples homes, trespassing on private property, property damage, reckless drivers, exhibition driving, loitering around after hours and this is to just name a few of the complaints we've heard about. Some residents have even given up calling 911 because they find these situations happen too frequently and some are worried they will get retaliated against.
What we've learned:
Some Police we've spoken to also have some of these same concerns. Since we broke the Block 100 issue here at Metro News Now, the city of Council Bluffs and the Council Bluffs Police have stepped up patrols to the area however, that doesn't come without other repercussions. It's noticeable Council Bluffs Police are severely under staffed during Friday and Saturday nights. Because of this, it hampers our officers abilities to address certain situations.
Some scenarios to consider:
- If CBPD has officers located at block 100 during closing time and a brawl breaks out of 20-30 people or more in the middle of Broadway with general traffic also caught in the crossfire, how safe are the officers? Consider this, Police are many times being targeted. Since the George Floyd incident, police are being targeted even more by specific groups that want them de-funded and non-existent. We've seen police getting run over, getting shot, getting things thrown at them and the list goes on.
- If CBPD has officers at block 100 and a robbery, break-in, home invasion, domestic abuse call or a multitude of other serious crime occurs and they need to leave block 100, how safe are the residents of that area or other patrons of the establishments of that area?
To explain this even further, Metro News Now has seen first hand how this plays out and it doesn't just include CBPD at block 100. When the large groups of people leave block 100, CBPD also has to place officers at a couple of other businesses and locations on Broadway. The people leaving the block 100 area will gather in large groups loitering at gas stations where more issues do occur.
You may at this point be saying to yourself, so what's different now from in the past when bars let out?
The difference now is the level of disregard for law. The difference now is the disregard for law enforcement. The difference now since the George Floyd incident is some people and groups are aggressively going after Police and communities, such as Council Bluffs.
last weekend just as a example, Metro News Now watched a car leave Block 100. The car left doing a burnout, went a high rate of speed down Broadway, stopped into Bucky's on 16th street and loitered for a while. They then took off doing a burnout again turning onto Broadway in front of the police, went a high rate of speed down Broadway almost running into another car, pulls into Bucky's on 35th and Broadway and proceeds to loiter some more.
Metro News Now contacted law enforcement to notify them of the situation and where the car was. About 10 minutes after our call 1 single police officer showed up. We signaled the Police officer to talk to us to explain what we seen and point the car out to him. By the time the police officer showed up, the reckless driver had about 20-30 people gathered around his car. The police officer informed us earlier he had written the driver up for the same exact thing we called in for which was reckless driving. He also explained to us that the large group was a concern and he couldn't approach them as he felt his safety was in jeopardy. There should of been other officers to assist however, they were needed elsewhere. It also didn't take long for us to see exactly what the officer was telling us about his safety concerns was real. As we were talking to the police officer, the driver of the car approached the officer and myself. The driver proceeded to aggressively address the officer over his earlier ticket. The Council Bluffs Police Officer acted admirably while being taunted and called names. The driver went back to his car, loitered for a few more minutes, then done a burnout in front of the officer leaving towards Omaha and going a high rate of speed.
This also isn't a isolated case. Metro News Now has witnessed many situations like this occur in the past couple of months while investigating block 100. Large groups of people outnumber our police and leave very little options on the table for our police to do what they're hired by the people of this community to do. Our officers are left in a very precarious position and so is our community as this situation gets worse.
Taking back our community
It's time right now to take back our community from the agitators, people with dis-regard for laws, our community and our police. We ask that our Mayor and City Council find the means and way to hire more officers. Council Bluffs citizens voted to build our police a new police station for a reason, it wasn't because we felt we needed less police or policing of our community, Council Bluffs residents have spoken and very clearly indeed. Time for action is now, not later when it becomes too late. Let's insure our Community and Police Officers are safe!
Thank You Council Bluffs Police for all you do!