Crime fighters - Magican's Play....
A weeklong conversation with some friends has lead to this weekend post. How much control does Davenport really have? I mean, we have lots of talk radio folk’s complain about crime and bloggers devote site after site to this one central issue. The typical conclusion is city hall, alderman, the police chief or Davenport One is somehow to blame. But the real question is, how much control do they really have?
Think about liquor licenses! If you have a tavern or bar that produces a great deal of problems, an elected official can try to hold up their license for approval. Sometimes hold them up for ridicule utilizing the local media. But if they decline to renew, odds have it the State of Iowa will over turn.
Our Police force spend lots of time running down the bad guys, only to have the courts minimize, plea out or drop charges. Is there an outcry from the population? Hell no, our County Attorney/Prosecutor just ran in the last election unopposed! Name me one state official that ran on a “reduce crime” theme and was swooped into office.
I guess we could have a city council that dictates nearly 70% of the budget to public safety, but I think we already have that. We could have a city council that dictates the police department step up enforcement, through any means necessary. But that produces ideas like technology, cameras and spending more money to make sure juvenile crime cases actually see the light of day in our judicial system.
In reality, cities are more or less stuck with a bandage approach. Cover the infected areas as best as possible, and hopefully the infection will simmer down or move else where. Yep, lots of cities have neat programs or neighborhood organizations that “take it back”. But in reality, they just move it elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not taking anyone off the hook. But the challenges this city or any other city has in Iowa or may I say the region, far exceeds the resources of city hall, its alderman or any business entity group. More prisons, a stronger religious culture and families with two parents in the same house/apartment would go a long way.
Just call me crazy, but if the next municipal election is all about crime, candidates better be damn specific what they want to do. Tell me again, how long has Bill Davis been the County Prosecutor? And just how big is Davenport One’s police force? Ahh, I see…
Have a great weekend,