Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Event Pics

Whenever an event is held by the NCPC, one of the most important tasks to be done is to record it. Over the years, the primary method has been still photography.

Literally thousands of pics have been taken at events ranging from the children's Christmas Party to the Adventure Programs. They've been used in different publications, such as the "Thank You" cards Officer Clarke mails to supporters, and in pages of the notebooks that were created for each event.

The pics help tell a story about the event to people who are unfamiliar with what we do, and give us a way to keep the good feelings rolling on. Most people who attend enjoy having their picture taken, and it's not just the little kids who get a kick out of muggin' for the cam. Many of you ask to see the pics afterward.

Until recently, we haven't had an easy way to share them with you. It was just too much work on the shoulders of a few, and the old way took a lot of time. It was inconvenient for everyone involved, so it happened less and less.

We're pleased to announce that all of that has changed.

Several months ago, we created our own photo sharing site on Flickr, and painstakingly loaded over 2,000 pics into it dating back several years. We've made several hundred of them available, so you can get a feel for what takes place at our events for children.

Link to our site from here. There is also a link in the right margin of this blog.

If you are a leader of a team, unit or organization who has participated in one of our programs and want your group's event pics to be made available to the rest of the community, please let us know.

We aim to build and strengthen relationships between people, namely, police and the children and families of the neighborhood we serve, as well as the individuals and groups who participate in our programs. This includes other police officers, volunteers, community groups, educators, donors, and more.

We're in the process of editing the photos, while simultaneously doing other stuff. So here and there you may find a few that need fixin'. Oops. We'll get to it.

We just didn't want to wait for everything to be perfect before inviting you into our world, and hope our country welcome makes you feel right at home. Kick off your boots and hang for a while.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ice-Fishing Trip on Black Lake

The Ice-Fishing Trip on Black Lake was a lot of fun.

Once again, kids entered the Fishing Derby in order to compete for prizes with the rest of the folks who fished the Lake last weekend. The only problem was, the fish decided not to bite.

So, we resorted to Plan B. The kids all got a few turns on the snowmobile and ATV. We rode across the lake and around the land. Those who weren't on the motorized vehicles took the sleds and went sliding along the long, sloping road near the camp. Everyone had a blast.

So the net of the story is, we played more this year than usual because the fish decided not to cooperate. And that was not a bad thing after all. The children received a gift and went home with happy memories.

A big "Thank You" goes out to the supporters who responded to our call for supplies and funds to make this event a success.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

NCPC Invests in Adventure Programming

Recently, Officer Clarke and Renee attended the 18th Annual International Challenge Course Symposium and Conference in Portland, Oregon hosted by the Association for Challenge Course Technology, Inc. (ACCT).

ACCT is the standards-setting organization that ensures the quality of programming and instruction in the Adventure field. The week long event offered many seminars relevant to Adventure programming in a beautiful setting near Mount Hood.

Officer Clarke commented on how inspired he was by the many workshops he attended at the conference. He looks forward to incorporating what he learned into the programs offered to groups and organizations, including new initiatives, games, ice-breakers and other methods of engaging groups in experiential learning.

We have used Adventure programming as a key strategy to reach and inspire middle and high school youth as well as community groups, government units and private organizations. The certification track and investment in adhering to ACCT standards is an important step towards increasing our capacity to deliver high quality programs to you. Certification ensures that participants in the Adventure programs we facilitate receive quality training that is consistent with the standards set by the ACCT. It also provides the know-how required to properly maintain the facilities we use for Adventure programming, including Challenge Courses and their elements.

In 2006, ACCT established quality standards in an effort to improve the consistency of programs delivered by Adventure practitioners. Last November, Officer Clarke and Renee began the certification process by attending a practical skills assessment in Brattelboro, Vermont. They were among the first to become certified in accordance with these standards by the High 5 Adventure Learning Center, a Professional Vendor Member of ACCT.

As a result of their successful completion, both Officer Clarke and Renee received their Level 2 Challenge Course Practitioner certification. Level 2 Certification is considered an intermediate level. Practitioners are required to have a solid foundation of documented experience in delivering Adventure programs prior to taking the course. This translates to at least a few hundred hours of facilitation experience on a Challenge Course, which Officer Clarke well exceeded.

If your team has attended an Adventure seminar with us and is ready to take things to the next level, please get in touch with Officer Clarke to discuss the new ideas and offerings that are available and how they may be of benefit to your group.

New Web site On the Way

We’re eagerly anticipating the roll out our new Web site created with you in mind.

Our goal is to use the new site to improve service and build community among all those who benefit from and make possible the Center’s programs. This goal is the basis for the new design.

There will be opportunities for you to contribute to the content, including providing stories and photos, asking questions or making suggestions. In addition, blog posts with your comments will be visible right on the main page of the site, along with a direct link to the main page of our blog.

If you have something to contribute to the new site, ideas and suggestions, please contact us using the profile email link or leave a comment here.

Letter to Supporters, January 2008

Note from Editor: This was recently written and sent by Officer Clarke to NCPC supporters.

Dear Supporter:

As I type this letter I am sitting in my dad’s camp with my computer on my lap looking out over the lake through the big picture window.

My trip up here started with a plan of a couple of days off for the New Year and turned into a phone call to my boss asking for a weeks worth of vacation days. It’s no wonder to me why my dad and my dad’s dad choose to retire up here at the end of their careers with the city. It is my plan also, to retire here.

I am currently in the process of closing the sale of my camp so that I can complete the purchase of my dad’s camp.

Dad was no carpenter and there is still a lot of drama surrounding the property and a neighboring camp. But I am trusting I will eventually be able to wade my way through all these issues and retire peacefully up here a few years from now.

Every time I come up here I always lug along my laptop thinking I might find some time to catch up on Police Center work. Generally, I lug it back and forth with out even taking it out of the case. But, this time I actually am catching up on a lot of Police Center work.

I have finished my Christmas thank you card (which will go out before this letter, to those of you who helped with the party), I have completed my monthly stats for December, I have written a couple of memos to my Lieutenant and now I am working on the ice-fishing letter.

I guess a foot of snow and a few days of below zero degree temperatures managed to keep me inside, sipping coffee and working on my computer. Not to mention, I had to wait for a local farmer to come down with his tractor to plow my road so I could get out.

Walking a half-mile out on the lake in knee deep snow to ice-fish produced only one 3” perch. No wonder I am working on my laptop. I can see I will need to invest in a plow and a snowmobile in the near future.

Now is a good time to start preparations for our annual ice-fishing trip. Most of you know, every year we take a few area youth on a weekend ice-fishing trip to my camp on Black Lake. This year I have moved my small camper over to my Dad’s camp. We will all be staying in his camp and in the camper.

At dad’s camp we have more room, running water and a kerosene stove (a nice upgrade in amenities from my camp). The driveway is a little more of a grade and longer where the kids enjoy sledding all weekend long.

Our weekend starts with loading everyone up at the Police Center on Friday as soon as they get out of school. Then there is a two-hour ride to my camp on Black Lake.

After arriving and unloading we take a short ride to the Black Lake Fish & Game Clubhouse where we enter everyone in the ice-fishing derby. The kids walk around the clubhouse pointing out fish mounts, wondering if they will catch fish as big as the mounts. We then return to camp, picking up 3 or 4 pizzas along the way.

From that time on we spend the weekend fishing. We put out 70-90 tip ups and each child gets a jigging pole to fish with.

The rules for the tip ups are simple. When a flag goes up, the first one to the tip up gets to pull in the line. Because the tip ups are scattered all over the ice in front of camp everyone gets a chance to pull in fish.

On Sunday morning we have breakfast and then re-bait all our tip ups. After that, we drive around Amish country and visit a local church. We eat lunch at a small restaurant close by camp. We return to camp, do a little more fishing, give out prizes and then it is time to pack up for the trip home.

Any of you folks interested in coming up to participate in the ice-fishing trip are welcome. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested. The trip is planned for February 15th –17th.

If you are interested in helping us with this adventure you may help in any of the following ways: Ice-fishing line, poles, lures, spuds (someone loses a spud thru the ice every other year), bait, grubs, wax worms, large minnows (are .75 ea. and we generally use 250 of 'em), food clothing, (especially boots, socks, hats and gloves).

Monetary donations are used to purchase any of the needed items listed above, plus the Black Lake Fish and Game Association memberships for everyone (this qualifies them to fish in the derby), renewal fees for our Adventure Explorer Post (this provides our liability insurance thru the Hiawatha Seaway Council), gas for vehicles and ice auger, pizzas (Friday night) and lunch (Sunday afternoon).

You may drop off or mail donations to our office (255 Wolf St.). For monetary donations, checks may be made out to the Northside Community Police Center. If you have any questions please give me a call at 471-3257.


James K. Clarke

Police Officer

Friday, February 22, 2008

About Us

The Northside Community Police Center, located within the City of Syracuse, provides public safety services to the residents and businesses who reside in this neighborhood.

Our storefront located at 255 Wolf Street serves as a walk-in facility for residents who need our services, whether it is to file a report or obtain information. The Center is staffed with one full-time police officer and a few regular volunteers who help administer the Center’s community policing programs.

The Northside Community Police Center is part of a network of other Centers located city-wide that are part of the Community Policing Division of the City of Syracuse Police Department. These resources are available to meet specific needs within the City’s neighborhoods.

We are striving to improve the quality of life for children and families on the North Side of Syracuse. When children and youth are engaged in doing something positive with adults who lead by example, they're more apt to stay away from trouble. Not all kids have that advantage at home. But some connect with a positive adult role model who provides the inspiration they need.

Children who form healthy relationships with positive adults have a greater chance of growing into productive, well-adjusted citizens. That leads to less crime and better quality neighborhoods. By engaging children and families in constructive connections with police and our supporters, we're reaching out to build a better community.

Our tactics include events and programs that provide an opportunity for these connections to happen. They involve police and the public in collaborative problem solving, that has positive effects on our outlook and quality of life.

We welcome and appreciate those who help make it possible.
The Center is supported by a network of volunteers and donors, who provide the additional resources required to deliver our programs. Throughout the year, our Event Calendar is full, involving several thousand children, teens and adults in positive activities with police and supporters.

We welcome those who are interested in being part of our community. Whether you live nearby and use our services, or your business is located here, whether you're a volunteer who serves or a donor to our programs, or it may be none of the above but you like what you're reading, the blog is a way to connect and support what we do.

Stay connected! Just
link up via the feed - use the Subscribe button. Then choose a Reader and get the posts and other content brought right to you . We hope that something you read here will convince you to become more involved. These are some ways:

The Northside Community Center of Syracuse, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Not for Profit corporation. The generous contributions of individuals and businesses enable us to deliver our programs.


We encourage your comments and respect your opinion, whether or not you agree. Dissenting opinions often generate better ideas. However, if your free expression conflicts with our mission, we will delete your comment. We moderate comments prior to their appearance on the blog. We reserve the right to edit all forms of content.

We intend to reflect positively on the organizations we represent, however, any opinions expressed belong to the individuals who contribute them.


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Written content is the property of the author, with all rights reserved. Nothing can be used elsewhere without the expressed written permission of the author.


Creative Commons License

Works belonging to the Northside Community Police Center, "Seen From the North Side" - the Northside Community Police Center Blog, or the Blog contributors are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 United States Licenses. Most works used here and belonging to others are also protected by Creative Commons, or applicable copyright licenses.

The banner photo "Water" is courtesy of Mike Swanson.

To learn more about the people and programs of the Northside Community Police Center, please check out our Web site.


We're engaging the community in the Center's events and programs through several means; this blog is the latest of several tools that allow us to proactively communicate with you in a more timely and direct way. Here, we're not fettered by the costs and inconveniences of snail mail.

Whether you live on the North-side of Syracuse and use our services, or your business is located here, whether you volunteer with us or donate to our programs, the blog is a new and convenient way to remain connected.

Now, we recognize that you may be anywhere, and not necessarily someone who can walk into our Center. Here in our virtual space, you can join in on what we're doing and talking about, and become part of our community regardless of where you live. We think that's way cool, and we welcome you.

We also welcome others within our local community who may not be as regularly involved with us. Stay informed and in touch through the blog, and as you do, we think you'll find something that captures your interest and inspires you to act.

You don't even have to visit this blog every day. Instead, why not allow us to come to you whenever there's something new? Just hook up via the feed on this page. To do that, scroll to the bottom and click on "Subscribe to Posts (Atom)". Then follow the directions.

Concerned about information overload? Don't be. There are reader services available that can bring us to you with the rest of your daily news.

We welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions. And if you happen to be a blogger or have your own Web site, let us know about that, too. We're all about building community.

Coming soon is a brand new Web site for NCPC which will eventually contain this blog right on the home page, easing access to information on our events, programs and services.

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