"We want the judges to know that when we send a letter, it's important," Hill said. "It takes a group of people working together to make sure nothing falls through the cracks." Noting the Jerome Owens case, Hill said, "We want to get the word in and say, 'Look, it's about time this guy is taken off the streets. He's been committing crimes for quite a while.' "
The noteworthy cases — such as the killing of Pitcairn and the arrest of Couplin, both of which made front-page news — are the easy ones to track. More difficult, and perhaps more important, is for Gewirtz to follow cases that don't get a lot of attention but are equally as important to residents.
Joshua Waters is one such example. The 17-year-old was arrested in November and charged as an adult with theft, assault, armed robbery and using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
Police say he robbed a man at gunpoint on the front steps of his Waverly home, taking $100 and a 12-pack of beer. Police arrested him two days later after chasing a car that had been reported stolen in an armed carjacking in Charles Village.
Waters' first hearing in Circuit Court was postponed last week. But Gewirtz already has letters out to the judge and prosecutor, pleading that the teen remain in adult court and noting that the crimes he is alleged to be a part of put Remington and Charles Village "in a state of terror."
Before the arrest, a church deacon had to keep an eye on worshippers departing afternoon services. A bar owner warned her patrons of masked assailants threatening residents at gunpoint and driving off in their cars. The principal of a school had to stand guard to protect visitors attending a potluck dinner.
This is the impact of crime that Gewirtz wants judges to understand. "We have had enough," one of his impact letters reads, "and we need to restabilize our neighborhoods."