Monday, April 12, 2010

How Best to Improve Public Safety

There are days that I think the local news loves to stir up things when it comes to public safety. With the new director of public safety being a republican they have all the help they need to start a blame game between our local judges and local law enforcement because our state has the second highest crime ranking in the country.

The real question is not who is to blame because that question will get us nowhere fast and actually be harmful when it comes to improving public safety in this city. The real question is what can the police, district attorney’s office, local communities, and the courts do working as a team to bring our national ranking down?

Public safety has to start with the police working with local communities to solve crimes and bring good information to the district attorney’s office to make solid cases against repeat offenders. The district attorney’s office must provide judges with the facts that clearly prove their cases while working with victims to show impact of serious crimes to the court. The state legislature must give judges the resources to make sure that judges have the needed time to deal with repeat offenders and also the laws that would allow them to put individuals behind bars that pose a threat to public safety.

State legislators should also understand that services like drug treatment and mental health treatment for the homeless have a direct impact on our crime rankings in this state. When your mother once told you that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure they were not wrong when it comes to drug crimes and the mentally ill.

If we can provide good jobs in the future for our citizens and provide them with social skills that enable them to work within a peaceful community then our crime ranking will drop. People are not born bad but are socialized to learn crime is their only way of dealing with life issues. When young women can stand before a judge and ask that a violent abuse boyfriend be set free so they can continue the relationships then we as a community have failed to socialize those young women to value themselves and their partners.

When local police officers blame the court system for not keeping repeat offenders off the street and show little to no respect for our court system when speaking to the public then we teach the public that the only way to protect themselves and their property is to resort to violent behavior therefore only encouraging more violent behavior in the future.

This blame game must be stopped if we are to start to bring our crime ranking down. Community policing where you know the local law enforcement and feel like they are part of the community should be encouraged in our city. New technology that keeps the public informed about criminal activity should be acquired and promoted. Strong support and funding of prevention programs that work and face regular reviews should be done at the state and local levels.

Well funded court systems that can clear cases quickly should be supported so that no criminal who poses a threat to our communities is set free on bond for long periods of time. New technologies that can provide all law enforcement agencies with up to date information on individuals brought into the system more than once should be used. These New technologies should be used to track individuals so that preventive measures can take place before it becomes an issue of life or death for an innocent bystander.

Public Safety should be a team effort and can only be improved through different agencies working in conjunction with local communities to promote respect and a peaceful productive life style.