A while back on the front page of our almost daily paper was the picture of our city’s Police Department front office addressing gang violence. They had their arms folded and looked defeated.
They asked for the community’s help with their problem. Now did you notice I said “their problem?” Because we the “taxpayers” expect them to do their job. They are asking us, “Joe citizen,” to put our lives on the line. I am guessing that there were $500,000 worth of our city’s law enforcement in uniform in that picture. Of course, I am including overtime pay to get dressed up. You can bet that not one of those officers in that picture was up there “volunteering” their own time to save the department money.
Now let’s get back to community and maybe some solutions to “their problem” before I get to my 325-word maximum.
Why would “Joe citizen” want to show up in court to help convict these gangbangers and put him and his family on their “hit list?” I guarantee you that the upscale neighborhoods that don’t have rentals or low-income apartments will not be on that neighborhood watch list. So why should other taxpaying residents be? Isn’t that why we pay for confidential informants in the Police Department?
The answer is simple and yet Mayor Harry Price, who formed a committee with the council’s consent, can’t remember how to help eliminate their problem. We are taking $10 million to $15 million a year in new tax money. Surely we can spend a few million on organizing a joint task force to smoke out the bad guys.
Let’s think outside the box and use grant money and other local cities to really clean this up. That’s why we bought that SWAT vehicle and command center RV, isn’t it?