Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Emperor is Not Wearing Clothes

For the most part I like the police. Most of them anyway.

I know that that there are a few rotten apples and of course like everyone else I hate seeing blue lights in my rear view. And I especially HATE getting pulled over for speeding, especially since I NEVER speed.

And yeah, I think some changes should be made within the BPD, but I also firmly believe in personal responsibility, community engagement and being a good neighbor - all these things help keep neighborhoods safe.

Which means that if you witness a crime, call the cops. If someone is screaming for help, call the cops. If you can drop a dime, drop it. Problems don't solve themselves - desire and effort and work do.

Not everyone agrees with this though.

Lots of folks believe that neighborhood safety falls squarely on the the shoulders of police and politicians and when crime happens it's because the BPD f*cked up. Often these are the same folks who won't cooperate with police, or be witnesses, or report crimes - who then say they are afraid because of all the "bad" cops.

After the year we've been having, there are those who really believe that it's the police department who is at fault that the crime is high and that some murders remain unsolved. And Commissioner Davis takes this sentiment personally.

So now the Commish want to calm the masses with a BPD shakeup - appointing a new head of homicide, among other things.

And everyone is apparently thrilled with this new arrangement. Even if they can't tell the wolf for the sheepskin he is sporting.

Those who are thrilled are overlooking the scary fact - that the person they just put in charge of the homicide unit is a publicity scrounger who vows to impress with numbers.

What? Now that can't be a good idea.

The only way that is going to happen is to have officers make lots of arrests quickly, preferably in time for the 11'o clock news. Or the morning edition.

Great news for people of color hanging out on Boston streets late at night. Or for some poor slob driving their rusted out sh*tbox Camaro down Broadway in Southie after some packy gets robbed.

And it's a big problem when he encourages his officers to arrest the most guilty looking person - oh wait, I mean the person who looks like the most probable cause of trouble, because the arrest-first-sort-thing-out-later method sometimes results in finding out your "perp" was really hanging out with a cop, at Boston cop no less. Read about that HERE.

Like I said, everyone is thrilled, except for dedicated "good" cops who believe in doing things the right way rather than the easy way and for the folks at the DA's office who know that prosecuting crime is not at all like you see on Law & Order - that prosecuting crime takes time and patience and sometimes disappointment.

But you know what, until a crime happens to you personally, you can't imagine what it would be like to be ground through the system just to then find out that the police made an arrest for show and that the real culprit was still out there, getting away with it.

1 comment:

Johnny K said...

Nicely put Miss. Von Schtoop. Neighbourhood/Community awareness and being proactive are much better ways to fight crime than improving "the numbers".

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.