Monday, March 17, 2008

Delaware looks forward to cracking the Top Ten--in crime . . . .

In 2006, Delaware rated 24th worst in the nation in terms of crime.

By 2007, the First State had risen (or dropped) to number 18.

This year, Delaware's 12th-place finish comes within a gnat's whisker of reaching the top ten.

We're number 3 in robbery, number 4 in rape, and number 9 in assault.

How do we attack these numbers without creating a police state supported by overwhelming taxation?

My first thought is that Wilmington needs a Giuliani-type fix. But then, for that it would need a real mayor. OK, on to plan B.

My second, more considered observation, is that we need to free our existing police officers from enforcing "victimless" crime laws.

I would much prefer that my public safety officials be available to respond to, investigate, and charge the perpetrators of rape, robbery, and assault rather than being asked to regulate seat belt use, bicycle helmet compliance, or recreational usage of marijuana.

That way, instead of adding more judges, we could devote more time to community policing, raising consciousness about rape and rapists, or teaching people how to organize effective neighborhood watches.

By the way, if you think I'm totally off my nut, check this out from Grits for Breakfast:

If you're a drug enforcement officer, how do you judge if your efforts have been a success?

According to the head of the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) task force in Atlanta, you know you're doing the job right when you see an increase in burglaries, armed robberies and murders! Reported the Atlanta Journal Constitution ("Federal vice agents tout successes," March 9):

He credits last year's spike in area burglaries, robberies and car thefts in part to criminals forced to pay more for their illicit drugs.

If law enforcement someday succeeds in breaking up established drug territories — the real sign of success from a metropolitan perspective — it could mean a similar spike in murders, as drug organizations vie for a larger market share.

"If the market here gets unstable down to the street, then the streets will get bloody," said [Jack] Killorin, director of Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA). "I don't think we're there yet."


In reality, the notion that drug prices increased last year because of enforcement has been pretty thoroughly debunked. Still, the mindset here is incredibly telling, don't you think? One expects the general public does not see increased burglaries, robberies car thefts or murders as evidence of any success by law enforcement.

There is an art to redefining failure as success, and this gentleman has mastered it.

1 comment:

Shirley Vandever said...

Speaking of bicycle helmets, Senate Bill 174 is to be heard in the Public Safety Committee this week:

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHILD HELMET REQUIREMENTS.