Security Meeting in Sosua

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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There was an open meeting in Sosua yesterday (May 21) morning on the subject of the crime rate in the area. The new police commander for the north coast, Coronel Thomas H. Grullart, was there and was the only speaker. He speaks perfect English, having lived, I believe, for much of his life in the US, and also speaks several other languages. Seemed very sincere in wanting to do what he can during the 6 months or so that he will be here to make Sosua a better place to live and he encouraged the people living here to organize because groups are listened to while individuals are not.

He passed out his card to anyone wanting it and encourged people to contact him direct if there was something they wanted to discuss with him, or if they felt they were not getting good help from his officers. His personal email address is also on the card.

I'm worried, however, that it was a missed opportunity. There were an estimated 30-40 extranjeros there, but few if any businesses were represented There seemed to be nothing planned, other than getting the people and Coronel together. There was a sheet for people to put their name, telephone and email address, but few of the 40 or so people there did so. Many people wandered off after the question and answer session with the Coronel without realizing there was a sheet to put the info on.

No discussion about where do we go from here. I hope my concern about it being a missed opportunity is proved wrong.

The people who organized the meeting deserve credit. It was an informative meeting, if nothing else. But they will deserve even more credit if the meeting turns out to have been the first step in an effective organization.
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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Ken said:
There was an open meeting in Sosua yesterday (May 21) morning on the subject of the crime rate in the area. The new police commander for the north coast, Coronel Thomas H. Grullart, was there and was the only speaker. He speaks perfect English, having lived, I believe, for much of his life in the US, and also speaks several other languages. Seemed very sincere in wanting to do what he can during the 6 months or so that he will be here to make Sosua a better place to live and he encouraged the people living here to organize because groups are listened to while individuals are not.

He passed out his card to anyone wanting it and encourged people to contact him direct if there was something they wanted to discuss with him, or if they felt they were not getting good help from his officers. His personal email address is also on the card.

I'm worried, however, that it was a missed opportunity. There were an estimated 30-40 extranjeros there, but few if any businesses were represented There seemed to be nothing planned, other than getting the people and Coronel together. There was a sheet for people to put their name, telephone and email address, but few of the 40 or so people there did so. Many people wandered off after the question and answer session with the Coronel without realizing there was a sheet to put the info on.

No discussion about where do we go from here. I hope my concern about it being a missed opportunity is proved wrong.

The people who organized the meeting deserve credit. It was an informative meeting, if nothing else. But they will deserve even more credit if the meeting turns out to have been the first step in an effective organization.
Ken, interesting that you post this, and please post any other aspects of this or follow-ups!
Why is the police commander assigned for only 6 months, do you know?
 

Mirador

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Apr 15, 2004
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You guys really blew your chance. It's very unusual for a police chief in any town to go out of his way as such....

It's a standard practice nowadays to assign police chief for such brief terms of duty. Reason? I would venture a wild guess: maybe the higher-ups believe that more lengthy assignments might make police chiefs becoming too chummy...
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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Mirador said:
You guys really blew your chance. It's very unusual for a police chief in any town to go out of his way as such....

It's a standard practice nowadays to assign police chief for such brief terms of duty. Reason? I would venture a wild guess: maybe the higher-ups believe that more lengthy assignments might make police chiefs becoming too chummy...
As I understand this one is not from here.
He is retired NYPD and has US Army experience, speaks English, German, Polish and some Spanish.
His name is Thomas H Grullart and he is assigned for 6 months for now with 80 police officers under him.
 

Escott

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Jan 14, 2002
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carina said:
As I understand this one is not from here.
He is retired NYPD and has US Army experience, speaks English, German, Polish and some Spanish.
His name is Thomas H Grullart and he is assigned for 6 months for now with 80 police officers under him.
Hi Carina, you neglected a very important language he speaks fluently. He speaks Dominican:) He was born here and lived for 23 years in NY.

Escott
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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Escott said:
Hi Carina, you neglected a very important language he speaks fluently. He speaks Dominican:) He was born here and lived for 23 years in NY.

Escott
Escott, thanks.
Where you at the meeting? If so, what was your thoughts about it?
 

Escott

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Jan 14, 2002
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I was at the meeting but I am a pessimist in regards to putting faith in the police here. You don't want to hear my thoughts, believe me.

PS> In case you didn't know I am Kens Driver! I have the hat and the gloves to prove it.
 
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Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Carina, as we walked away from the meeting, Scott told he that he didn't have a "warm and fuzzy feeling" about the meeting.

Anyone coming to Sosua and in need of transportation, I'll loan you my driver if I don't have any plans for the day.
 

Chester4

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Feb 12, 2004
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Security Meeting

Ken said:
There was an open meeting in Sosua yesterday (May 21) morning on the subject of the crime rate in the area. The new police commander for the north coast, Coronel Thomas H. Grullart, was there and was the only speaker. He speaks perfect English, having lived, I believe, for much of his life in the US, and also speaks several other languages. Seemed very sincere in wanting to do what he can during the 6 months or so that he will be here to make Sosua a better place to live and he encouraged the people living here to organize because groups are listened to while individuals are not.

He passed out his card to anyone wanting it and encourged people to contact him direct if there was something they wanted to discuss with him, or if they felt they were not getting good help from his officers. His personal email address is also on the card.

I'm worried, however, that it was a missed opportunity. There were an estimated 30-40 extranjeros there, but few if any businesses were represented There seemed to be nothing planned, other than getting the people and Coronel together. There was a sheet for people to put their name, telephone and email address, but few of the 40 or so people there did so. Many people wandered off after the question and answer session with the Coronel without realizing there was a sheet to put the info on.

No discussion about where do we go from here. I hope my concern about it being a missed opportunity is proved wrong.

The people who organized the meeting deserve credit. It was an informative meeting, if nothing else. But they will deserve even more credit if the meeting turns out to have been the first step in an effective organization.
Hi Ken....

I helped organise this meeting and believe me personal letters were hand delivered to some businesses in Sosua and Cabarete. Many people told me that they would attend. Lets hope these people will show up for the next meeting.

I had many e mail addresses (some addresses were not on the list because I already had them) and crime reports were made which will be given to the Coronel.

I have started up a group e-mail delivery and a newsletter with what was discussed and further plans. You of course will receive this and I would appreciate any help you can give.

The next meeting is planned for Saturday June 11th @ 11 am - Tropicoco Restaurant just before Cabarete. The Coronel said that he would attend and encourage people to come to these important meetings. Advertising will be done again and people should put the word out. Information about this meeting will be posted on all web-sites.

If anyone is interested in helping or getting more information please e mail me : sylviacheal@hotmail.com
 

Mirador

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Apr 15, 2004
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Sosuan expats

I just had the uncanny thought that you'll be working for the 'Colonel' instead of the other way around. Better get it straight from the beginning who gets the reward money...
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Chester4 said:
The next meeting is planned for Saturday June 11th @ 11 am - Tropicoco Restaurant just before Cabarete. The Coronel said that he would attend and encourage people to come to these important meetings. Advertising will be done again and people should put the word out. Information about this meeting will be posted on all web-sites.
I hope the next meeting will be better attended and result in an organization being formed. I think it should have more of a purpose than just hearing the Coronel say the same things he said at the first meeting.
 

paddy

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Oct 4, 2003
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is the easter bunny going to be present at these meetings? because you might as well believe in in that concept ...as to believe that this colonel is going to make a difference in some of these issues in the 6 month stint that he has in sosua. i wish you luck..but from where i'm sitting and the lousy turnout that you had at the first meeting..it looks like you're in for a long chain pulling contest.
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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Who was the last meeting for and to whom is the upcoming meeting directed to? Is it for "any one" and if so how is that information passed, is it for us "expats".,, for businesses?
As a first meeting, it seems very natural to me at least, to be a kind of presentation of the new coronel.
Will the next meeting have an agenda?
 

Rocky

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Ken said:
I'm worried, however, that it was a missed opportunity. There were an estimated 30-40 extranjeros there, but few if any businesses were represented
I guess it's because most of the long time business owners, have already been there, bought the T-shirt, got the cap.
This is not the first time that this type of thing has been organized.
Nothing ever comes of it.
You have a better chance of accomplishing something by going straight to the police station and meeting with the commander, one on one.
Every few years, someone comes up with the same idea, like it was an original idea, and it always turns out the same. A complete waste of time.
You know, Ken, that I have the utmost respect for you and I know your intentions are always noble, and I appreciate that you made the effort to attend the meeting and try to accomplish something.
It's been my experience with these types of meetings, that the people organizing them are just looking for Brownie points and most of those who attend just want to hear themselves speak.

PS: Escott & Paddy seem to have a clear understanding of the situation.
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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Rocky said:
I guess it's because most of the long time business owners, have already been there, bought the T-shirt, got the cap.
This is not the first time that this type of thing has been organized.
Nothing ever comes of it.
You have a better chance of accomplishing something by going straight to the police station and meeting with the commander, one on one.
Every few years, someone comes up with the same idea, like it was an original idea, and it always turns out the same. A complete waste of time.
You know, Ken, that I have the utmost respect for you and I know your intentions are always noble, and I appreciate that you made the effort to attend the meeting and try to accomplish something.
It's been my experience with these types of meetings, that the people organizing them are just looking for Brownie points and most of those who attend just want to hear themselves speak.
This was my thought as well, and usually what happens, everywhere and not only here, is actually that nothing happens.
But for those who was there, the coronel have a face now, and he has presented himself.

That?s why I asked before to whom this meeting was targeted, the society as a whole, only expats, only businesses...?
And what result are the organizers hoping to achive? Agenda?

The crime/security concern is a huge thing to discuss, as it has so many aspects; lack of order in society/and within the police force itself, education/upbringing, society issues/unemployment, political aspects, business aspects... and I am sure hundreds of more aspects..
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Rocky said:
I guess it's because most of the long time business owners, have already been there, bought the T-shirt, got the cap.
This is not the first time that this type of thing has been organized.
Nothing ever comes of it.
You have a better chance of accomplishing something by going straight to the police station and meeting with the commander, one on one.
Every few years, someone comes up with the same idea, like it was an original idea, and it always turns out the same. A complete waste of time.
You know, Ken, that I have the utmost respect for you and I know your intentions are always noble, and I appreciate that you made the effort to attend the meeting and try to accomplish something.
It's been my experience with these types of meetings, that the people organizing them are just looking for Brownie points and most of those who attend just want to hear themselves speak.
Rocky, I would feel better about the chances of a successful outcome if you organized a meeting with the Coronel and invited business people, representatives from condo associations, etc., people you felt could make a contribution and would do their part to make the thing a success. This would be something like sitting down with the Coronel one on one, but the group of ones would be people who were serious about doing something for Sosua.

Would you be willing to take the lead? I'm not talking about the meeting that is scheduled for June 10, but one you would set up for invitees. As I have indicated, I felt the first meeting accomplished nothing of importance and sending out flyers to the general public for the second one is not likely to result in anything different.

This new Coronel is not the typical Domincan police Coronel. He lived and worked in the US for many years and seems more in tune with the way things are done there than he is with the customs here. If we are ever going to get something going, I believe we have the best shot while he is in Sosua.

How about it, Rocky? Will you start the ball rolling. If so, you can put my name on the list as a representative of El Neptuno.
 

Rocky

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Thanks Ken.

I do appreciate the need to improve a lot of secutity issues, here in Sosua, but I have been so unsuccesful with this type of approach, in the past, that have come to the conclusion that I am more efficient applying any time and energy that I have to individual situations.
Regards, Marco.
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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Things change slowly here. Very slow. The police system is not going to change. Perhaps this colonel is sincere and then perhaps he is just a good politician. He will only be there for 6 months. I would never put faith in someone who is only going to be around 6 months. What exactly do you think you would change? The police are not going to change. Are you going to change the people who live there. Not the dominicans. Are you going to get the expatriates involved. They can do very little other than keep an eye out.

The best thing that you can do is sit down and put together a good article about how to avoid being victimized. Then you distribute that to expats living in the area. A form of education.

Your solution is in each individual working to not become a victim.

For example....make people aware of dangerous areas. What to do and what not to do. For example...walk a night in groups of two or more. Well that is just a start.

Best of Luck
 

paddy

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Oct 4, 2003
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everybody wants to go to heaven...nobody wants to die
i could only imagine how many times over the years that this scenario has been played out in the dr..let alone sosua. security is a big issue in the us and canada..more so as one could imagine in sosua...what message did this new colonel get ..when he looked around the room and saw that there was hardly any expats there?? he probably said to himself..i guess it can't be really that bad in sosua..if only a few people are complaining. ken you're wasting your time if the people you're concerned about choose to stay home and swim in their pools or sip cocktails while enjoying their view of their new found paradise..instead of going out of their way to attend a important meeting such as this.good luck to you
 

Bob K

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Aug 16, 2004
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why not

Maybe I am being niave, foolish, optomistic etc. However if and when living in the DR (and hopefully soon) I am sure that there is enough "empty" time during the day that I could "waste" a few hours at a meeting that will in all likelyhood produce nothing new, not change a thing, and be a total waste of time in the hope that just maybe something might click. Living there as an Expat time is cheap and one just never knows. Change is slow, and many times very slow, sometimes painful, and sometimes not effective. However if no one is willing to "waste" some time to see if it is possible then it will never happen. Just my two cents worth. Not living there yet maybe I am all wrong, but I don't think so.

Bob K