Today airforcewife is not a happy camper. Not. At. All.
And there is a very good reason for it. It has to do with our privatized housing.
A few nights ago, while I was walking my dog Ike around base, I had a "run-in" with a group of teenagers having severe behavioral problems. If you can call throwing rocks behind people a mere behavioral problem.
When I got home, I asked my husband to call the law enforcement desk and have Security Forces come out and take care of the issue... but I was informed that was not possible.
It seems that our base, which has been privatized, falls under something called "proprietary jurisdiction," - which is to say the military police can't legally patrol or perform law enforcement duties in our housing area.
This started many years ago when our base was opened. The federal government asked the State Police to patrol the streets in our housing area. This allowed more federal monies for the state police and built goodwill with the surrounding communities. Because the housing units themselves remained federal property, Security Forces and OSI still had jurisdiction inside them, and the State Police did not have to add an enormous workload to their already busy schedules.Well, now housing has privatized and the buildings aren't owned by the federal government anymore, which means no military police and a local sheriff's department that is irritated they suddenly havean extra area that is demanding more police presence than their other areas of responsibility.Can anyone say fiasco? The base troublemakers are well aware that the military can't do diddley-squat now, and have adjusted their behavior accordingly, which means they are taking full advantage of disobeying noise ordinances in cars, prowling the streets, knocking over trash cans, putting graffiti on tot-lot equipment, and in general creating a distasteful living environment. And now our base is also contending with a gang problem that is growing in visibility, with nothing being done about it. ACTIVE GANGS! ON BASE! I've heard from both an Army spouse and a Marine spouse who informed me that their bases are also experiencing these same problems with the falling quality of life on base due to the lack of federal jurisdiction in privatization change-overs. The Army spouse actually informed me that her husband and the other men in the neighborhood were walking neighborhood watch patrols at night because of home break ins. ON POST!
Of course, the safety issue is just another aspect of base housing that has not lived up to the hype that military families were promised. In my own experience, I had a caved in ceiling in my breakfast nook from January until April when someone was finally able to come fix it. They did screw a 2 x 4 into the sagging area to kind of brace it up in the meantime, however.
I'm not sure who forgot to write accountability into the contracts for base privatization, but they don't seem to be learning from past mistakes. I've talked to people at a MAJCOM headquarters in the Midwest who are utterly livid at the shenanigans going on there - including overcharging for utilities. Yet none of that was taken into account when figuring the contracts at our base, even though their change-over happened two years earlier. I was also informed that the base command is trying to change the issue with jurisdiction, but the process is only beginning. And in the meantime, the company that took over our housing area gets some very big checks from the government every month and doesn't seem to have a lot of quality control. It makes me very sad, because base living was a constant I really looked forward to. The camaraderie and "family-ness" of living with people in the same boat we were in was a stable thing to depend on in a very unstable lifestyle. I have to say, I would not make the choice to live in base housing on a privatized base again.