Yokosuka security personnel want residents to be good neighbors and help
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Yokosuka Command Master Chief Wayne Smith’s message to the community is threefold: notice things, report things and be an example.
His message comes in response to concerns community members have raised at recent public meetings with command leadership.
During a question-and-answer session Dec. 3 between Smith and Yokosuka enlisted sailors, many base security personnel said they wished residents would take more responsibility when they witness poor behavior and wrongdoing.
Petty Officer 1st Class A.G. Kalber, a master-at-arms with security, cited an example when he reprimanded a boy in the Negishi Housing area who was skateboarding with no helmet. When the boy’s father arrived and the two walked away, the father told his son he could continue skating without a helmet.
"It’s about the adults being adults and assuming responsibility," Kalber said Wednesday. "If you have children, be responsible for your children."
Other concerns residents have raised to command involve teen behavior, from failure to adhere to the base’s dress code to rowdiness and the use of foul language at the base food court.
Petty Officer 1st Class Hayden Thrasher, attending the Dec. 3 meeting, voiced support for base security efforts but said there’s only so much masters-at-arms can do.
"Everybody’s spread so thin," he said. "Yeah, we have all these MAs, but they’ve got to cover three different bases," including Negishi and Ikego housing areas and the naval base. "When you put 20 there, 20 there and 20 there, that’s 60 people gone already, so some of it has to fall on the parents."
Smith said after the meeting that people need to be good neighbors and set examples.
"Help each other out and don’t let little infractions go ignored to such an extent that it becomes a big deal," Smith said. "We need to set the norm not only for ourselves but also for everyone else that comes in. And I don’t want a 10 percent rule to ruin it for everybody."
Smith said he’d like an emphasis put on avoiding what he called the "little things," such as littering, failing to stop for people in crosswalks and not returning shopping carts to the proper corrals.
"I’ve got duty sections of sailors who go out every morning and retrieve shopping carts," he said. "It seems like a very strange military duty to go retrieve shopping carts that somebody left at their home."
Kalber said security officers are "always happy to assist anybody no matter what the case is, but if they can handle it at their own level, and it’s not something that puts them in harm’s way, they should."
If people do need assistance, Smith said they should get a good description of what they see and call security at 243-5000.