Radical Crime-Fighting: What is Community Policing? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Radical Crime-Fighting: What is Community Policing?

Police Chief Robert Moore could be the only man in the city who knows what "community policing" really means—and just how hard it could be to implement in Jackson. Yet, he is a believer, talking about it constantly, telling media and residents that it's a different style of policing for Jackson, and one that can take some adjustment and time to implement. It's an integral part of his new five-point plan to fight crime here that he and the mayor announced to the City Council on April 22. Still, no one bites.

Oddly, for a policing strategy that the chief regularly warns is a radical law-enforcement departure for Jackson, and a difficult one, no one seems to care much about the details. In weeks of police press conferences, I've not yet heard a reporter ask: "So, chief, what exactly is community policing?" And, as we go to press, media reports only refer to it in the vaguest of terms. "That means enlisting citizens to act in partnership with law enforcement," the Clarion-Ledger explained April 27. And?

The executive director of the brand-new crime "watchdog" group in the city, "Metro Jackson SafeCity Watch," which pledges to hold the police accountable, didn't seem to know the definition, either. In an April 17 interview, Rick Whitlow called Moore's five-point plan "policing 101" and "simplistic." When asked specifically about the plan's community-policing component, Whitlow said, "That's another of those things I'm surprised is not routine; officers should be right there on the streets with the community."

But what is "community policing" theory, I pressed him, and how do you believe it differs from what is called "traditional policing"—and which is best for Jackson? Whitlow, a former TV sports reporter, seemed flustered and surprised that I referred to community policing as a well-documented policing strategy that differs from traditional policing, ultimately admitting that he was not familiar with the theory behind the label. "It's too bad traditional policing is not community policing … maybe we should lean more toward community policing," he said.

So What Is It?
Community policing is certainly not the traditional sort, and the two can have trouble existing in the same police department, or the same city, or among people with different ideologies. Put simply, community policing as a theory is an alternative form of policing. It is proactive instead of reactive, progressive instead of regressive, compassionate instead of angry. And it can be hard to sell to hard-line conservatives who support a "lock-em-up-and-toss-the-key" approach to law enforcement.

"It is more humanistic and better informed about how (crime prevention) could and should be done," said Dr. Jimmy Bell, head of the JSU criminology department and, indeed, one more man who seems to know the meaning of the community policing. Traditional policing tends to appeal to conservatives who believe that a police force should solve crimes on their own, using tough strategies to deter other criminals—a relationship that scientific data tend to find dubious. Alternatively, "community policing involves multiple actors who are not ordinarily involved in crime. It is more effective, more informative, generates more leads and uses resources not available in the past," Bell said.

Yes, the police get out in the community, but they interact with community members in a way that's not typical in traditional policing tactics. And they're often out there before crimes are committed, for instance, getting to know kids—or, for that matter, the adults—in the community before they run into trouble.

According to the book "Why Crime Rates Fall" by Tufts University criminologist John E. Conklin (Pearson Education, 2003), the typical characteristics of a community-policing strategy include:
• More police officers, making wider contacts with the public.
• Decentralization of the police department with neighborhood substations.
• The same "beat officers" covering the same areas for a long time to help them get to know their specific communities and residents to build trust and develop contacts for solving crimes.
• Active neighborhood watches, crime newsletters and resident communications.
• Recreational and educational programs for kids to help curb mischief.
• Statistic-driven attention to "hot spots."
• Sensitivity and community training.
• Attempts to clean up dilapidated buildings and neighborhood trash. (A strategy developed by criminologist George L. Kelling called the "broken windows" theory that argues that crumbling neighborhoods creates an atmosphere for crime.)
• Using accurate data, and bypassing the media when necessary to build relationships with the community.
• Reducing fear in a community that many criminologists believe creates a "contagion effect" that actually helps multiply crimes.
• Emphasizing the prevention of crime (vs. increased arrests for petty crime) and rehabilitating before potential criminals move from trouble-making to worse crimes.

Feel-Good Policing?
"Rather than emphasizing arrest, community policing aims to reduce crime and fear, strengthen civil order, and solve local problems," Conklin writes, quoting Bowling Green University criminologist Stephen P. Lab.

While the name sounds like policing the way Andy Taylor did it in Mayberry, community policing as a codified philosophy has only been around since the early 1980s, when new strategies were needed as traditional policing failed to lower skyrocketing gun and drug crimes, particularly in cities. Research shows that it has worked amazingly well in some communities that have managed to put it into place.

In New York City, for instance, the David Dinkins administration implemented his "Safe Streets, Safe City" community-policing program in 1991 by lobbying for higher property taxes and a surcharge on personal income tax to pay for 5,000 more beat officers. Then, in 1994, President Bill Clinton put 100,000 more officers on the streets to increase community policing nationally. In New York, the strategy was multi-pronged, focusing on foot patrols, repairing "broken windows," educational and social services for high-risk youth, increased gun interdiction and other strategies. Crime almost immediately started falling, and fell in all categories for 27 straight months.

Rudolph Giuliani was elected mayor in 1993 before the full impact of community policing was understood by researchers. He soundly rejected the policy, instead focusing on his "quality-of-life initiative," aka "zero tolerance," which increased misdemeanor arrests for activities like panhandling and jaywalking. He also began his Street Crimes Units—undercover officers empowered to stop and frisk people suspected of being drug dealers or carrying weapons, a gung-ho policy that was partially blamed for the 41 bullets police fired at the unarmed immigrant Amidou Diallo.

From 1991 to 1997, misdemeanor arrests increased 85 percent in New York (with the same number of judges to process them). And the "punish first" approach would bring many complaints against the police—the number rose from 3,956 in 1993 to 5,596 in 1995—especially for their treatment of minority black youth who hadn't been accused of a crime. Lawsuits against the city, and financial settlements, also skyrocketed.

Crime would fall dramatically in New York City throughout the 1990s, but it also fell at similar rates in cities across the country that did not use the Giuliani model. Criminologists say now that crime began its dramatic descent in New York during the community-policing era, but say that a number of factors—including a dramatically buoyant national economy during the late 1990s—likely helped curb crime in NYC and nationally. Relatively few criminologists now give full credit to Giuliani's tough-love model for dramatic dips in city crime.

Zero Tolerance for 'Tigers'0
Still, many people like to believe Giuliani's "zero tolerance" approach lowered crime in New York, and thus should be emulated in other cities such as Jackson. At a March 28 "town hall meeting" at the Sports Hall of Fame, Councilman Ben Allen—one of the "founding fathers" of the new crime watchdog group—said Jackson should adopt tougher approaches to crime-fighting such as Giuliani employed "in Washington Heights, in the middle of Harlem." (Actually, they're two distinct neighborhoods.) Allen argued that such a tough approach could curb crime in Jackson, especially that by "wild tigers"—young people who cannot be rehabilitated and will commit violent crimes if not stopped, as he described it.

JSU's Bell later called Allen's wild tiger analogy "asinine" and compared it to the old "selective incapacitation" approach of eugenics. "That was scientific racism, in my opinion," he said. In the mid-1990s, many traditional-policing proponents—including current Bush adminstration drug czar John P. Walters—used a similar theory, that of "super-predators," to argue that many young black men were prone to kill and thus should be locked up as soon as possible. The theory has since been rejected by the criminologists who first published it.

Still, Bell added, "You can't un-ring the bell. Once a thing like that is out there, people gravitate to it based on their ideological disposition. They accept it as truth. That is why the educational piece is so important."

That perception—that out-of-control youth are the core of the crime problem, and they can't be rehabilitated—is one that concerns many people in Jackson who do not want to see all young people who look a certain way targeted unfairly. (Others don't want to see the city hit with lawsuits.) An understanding of these challenges can go a long way toward explaining a desire to keep media crime sensationalism at a minimum. Decisions based on facts are one thing; decisions based on hysteria is quite another.

Educate, Don't Excoriate
Chief Moore, who joined the police force here 10 months ago, seems bent on educating the public on the need for community-policing approaches here that could, in turn, prevent some of the negative effects of more traditional zero-tolerance policing. At the same time, he also appears to be pushing for aggressive enforcement of existing laws to curtail recent spikes in crime.

Such a paradigm shift toward community policing can take time, especially with the problems Moore says he inherited on arrival. In an interview, he cited a litany of department issues he had to tackle all at once: "corruption, image, community trust, incompetent administrators, poor interaction with officers." The first step, he said, was reorganizing the department's structure and executive staff to prepare for the shift. And that's not easy when the cops are used to the old procedures or "what the model used to be," as he calls it. At the same time, Moore said, he had a serious public perception problem that is continually fueled by media coverage that seems unversed in policing strategies and policy—a media that expects a magically safer Rome to be built overnight.

But, because the public is so vital to community policing, they must be brought into the fold, even if that means going around the media—as the department is increasingly doing—and talking directly to residents about what the police can and can't do, and how residents can help. "The whole process of community policing, ladies and gentlemen, is not blaming the police," he said at a March 5 Parents for Public Schools luncheon. Moore seems to summarily reject hyperbole, trying to bring sensationalist media questions back to earth even if it means he later gets chastised for "ducking and dodging." He readily takes credit for 90-plus-percent murder arrest rates, while saying outright that he cannot "stop" all crime in Jackson. (When a Clarion-Ledger reporter asked him at the May 9 press conference how he was going to "stop" property crime, he responded, "When America can get crime stopped, we'll be able to stop it in Jackson. … I won't stand here and tell you I'm going to stop crime.") Moore publicly calls certain crimes, such as property, "chronic," a characterization that often doesn't get reported. His no-nonsense approach with reporters brings Giuliani to mind—except that the two men defend radically different policing strategies.

Moore also likes to challenge the community to help their own kids. "God didn't give me the responsibility to raise those children," he told me in his office.

Mayor Harvey Johnson supports Moore's effort to rebuild trust in the police department, despite bad press. "Through community policing, we can work on the respect issue. The media can help a lot by working on the appreciation (of police) issue," the mayor said April 22 in a meeting with me and a Clarion-Ledger reporter at his office. He emphasized that he and Moore are going to keep "the interests of children at heart" as they proceed with their policing strategy. "We want to teach them to be better citizens and be more productive," he said, adding that he wants different groups and churches to start talking and pooling resources to help youth and keep them from "falling through the cracks." He added, "We have to be careful not to be too reactive. It's always possible that we infringe on people's rights."

Whitlow, who is African-American, minimized the need for the police to reach out to kids. "We're not going to just throw up a basketball goal in those neighborhoods and solve problems," he said, adding that he is unsure how much positive effect "midnight basketball" can have. "It's hard to gauge whether that works," he said.

Mayor Johnson puts his faith in Moore's approach to policing, although in our interview he did not seem to have a clear idea of the full spectrum of community-policing theory, either. "Community policing has various meanings to various people," he said vaguely. The mayor added that he believes Moore has the ability to restore the public's belief in the police. "I am confident that he can lead the department toward a level of community policing we don't currently enjoy," he said.

The mayor ended the interview by focusing again on helping kids, one of the five pillars of his and Moore's crime plan. "Let's not forget that we have the opportunity to prevent crime from happening … if we take enough time with young people."

That, in many ways, is the soul of community policing. It just happens to have a body, arms and feet as well.

The name of Rick Whitlow was mispelled above. It has been corrected in this version.

Previous Comments

ID
76847
Comment

Donna, I was in NYC during some of the late Dinkins and early Giuliani years and without being too cynical I believe the growing economy of the 1990s had much to do with the success of "community policing" as method (and not just crime reductions and safer streets) -- meaning NYC didn't have to deal with the bad side of community policing like the possibility of corruption on the one hand and a suffocating "big brother's watching everything" attitude on the other. Since the cynic is out, I am going to throw out a quote from one of my favorite social commentators of a just passed generation, Joe Strummer (may he rest in peace) from the Clash: "Police and thieves in the streets Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition..."

Author
md75
Date
2003-05-03T08:07:16-06:00
ID
76848
Comment

Here is an opinion that differs with that espoused by the Jackson Free Press. http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0305/04/lronnie.html

Author
Reader
Date
2003-05-05T09:56:07-06:00
ID
76849
Comment

Here Here on the article at: here here! on the http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0305/04/lronnie.html I've had an idea lately for some sort of real time, web based crimeometer... - .....take real time crime data, - (from where I have no idea.. - maybe police radio?) and create a statistics web page that updates in real time... color code the data for different types of crime... and overlay it on a map of Jackson... just like looking at real time radar data at: weather.com... that way we could see what crimes are going on where... and there could be alerts too - like bad weather alerts... this would surely help JPD too, see where their problem areas are.. you could also use cross section this data in an infinite number or ways... I think JPD should have this on their web site. Maybe even the local TV stations could have a crime report - just like they do for the weather! - Just a thought.... philip

Author
philip scarborough
Date
2003-05-05T20:30:15-06:00
ID
76850
Comment

Hey y'all, I haven't been ignoring your comments. I've been out of town for our first little vacation since the JFP started. So, I'm a bit more mellow than usual ... la de da ... Now, to the point at hand. First, md75, I (and, more importantly, most experts, as well as common sense) agree with you that the dramatically improving economy had an incredible amount to do with improving crime rates in New York City and around the country, which I say in the above story. (And the tanking economy obviously is contributing to more crime now, here and elsewhere.) The question is how to respond now in a way that will decrease crime and improve the conditions that lead to it. But, it is also important to know that community policing (including increased beat cops) is credited for *starting* New York's dramatic fall in crime, which started before the economy really hit its stride in the 90s. And Giuliani's "zero tolerance" crime-fighting did not create a larger drop in crime than in other major cities that did not use the same type of aggressive policing. That's just true, no matter how often the hardliners try to say Rudy did it all by standing up and staring the criminals in the face and yelling a lot. And frankly, we cannot afford New York City's legal settlements. And, per Mr. Agnew's statement yesterday that Rudy did it all in Times Square -- I find that an incredibly misleading statement. I was running a midtown newspaper when the Times Square "clean-up" started during the Dinkins administration; it had a whole bunch to do with a development corporation, private security, relocation of XXX places (to a few blocks away, taking some related crime with it), cleaning up "broken windows" and a whole bunch of big corporate money with the word "Disney" stamped on it, as well as policing strategy. I don't find that a good example to support his argument, except for perhaps his quick suggestion that perhaps a public-private initiative could come up with money for more police officers. That seems like an interesting idea -- except that with the feeling of hopelessness and hysteria that Mr. Agnew's paper has helped inspire about Jackson recently, it'll be interesting to see if we can bring people together long enough without yelling or posturing politically to figure out how such a strategy would work. Maybe he'll moderate the angry factions now that they're worked into such a frenzy? More soon ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-05T21:53:40-06:00
ID
76851
Comment

P.S. Philip, your idea sounds a lot like the COMSTAT system that JPD employs already. I doubt there's a need to reinvent that wheel, although I support more public access to the information and more often, as I've called for before.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-05T21:54:13-06:00
ID
76852
Comment

My, look what I just found in the news database. You know all that rather-muddied talk recently in the C-L about crime and "perception," and my argument that we do need to reason out what's really going on, rather than get hysterical. Seems the C-L agreed with that, back in November. From a Nov. 15, 2002, editorial: "Despite statistical drops in crime, Jackson does suffer from a 'crime perception' problem that is not always driven by fact or logic. For example, downtown Jackson is one of the safest areas in the metro area, but does not always have that image. Police, under new Police Chief Robert Moore's watch, do seem to be more aware of the importance of neighborhood presence and communication, which is key to dealing with those perceptions that the city is unsafe. It is important for Jackson-area citizens to know the facts about crime and to be involved in crime prevention. While new statistics are optimistic, as Moore points out, 'no matter how we look at it, there is still too much crime.' It is important that we fight crime and the perceptions that damage our communities at all levels." We couldn't agree more.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T00:14:37-06:00
ID
76853
Comment

Donna, I'm glad you ran this report. I think the term "community policing" escapes most people's personal dictionary and will probably be addressed and re-addressed many times in the future by Moore and others. I personally feel a large portion of crime is a result of the mass exodus to the 'burbs over the last ten or so years. As Jackson's population decreased, crime increased. The community (it seems) gave up and relocated to Brandon, Madison, Ridgeland, Pearl, Flowood, Clinton, (add leech city here).... By "giving up", they did just that-- they gave up their communities, neighborhoods and city to crime. Now, it seems many of the "complainers" are screaming with megaphones from their bedroom communities for us to solve the problems they left behind. If they had chosen to remain and fight, the story might have played differently and Jackson may not have the crime problem it does... But that's only theory. Theories always look cute on paper and in high resolution. There is no "one" right way to solve the crime problem that exists. Crime is often an individual act and should be handled on an individual basis. I think many approaches highlighted in these editorials and others are practical and useful if/when implemented. Education is still the most important tool to be used. Citizens should be educated and seek education on proper safety measures; (potential) criminals should be educated about the dangers of crime and serving "time"; children need more education in every facet of their lives whether crime-related or not. I think that Moore has done a beautiful thing. Obviously, he has stirred debate and dialog which helps further establish our community. We are all learning from each others mistakes, success stories, problems, and concepts. There is a growing renaissance... It will take a little time to be evident but when it happens it will be a beautiful thing because it will involve all aspects of our city: individuals, businesses, communities, neighborhoods, and government! May it happen soon!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-06T10:07:29-06:00
ID
76854
Comment

I'm going to add a couple of things in here. First, some bad stuff has happened in the Fondren area in the past ten days or so -- really hair raising. To build on Knol's positive "renaissance" idea, though, last night there were a ton of people out in our neigbhorhood, walking, talking with their neighbors, sitting on their porches, standing in the streets. It was great. Even in the heat and humidity... I think it's clear to say that we were out there because it's our community and we are responsible for it. Us taking responsibility is only part of it, though. I have not -- thankfully -- had a gun held to my head and my spouse has not had her purse snatched from her as she loaded our kids into our car. In the last ten days, though, there have been two instances of armed robbery -- with guns being held to the heads of my neighbors -- and a purse being snatched as a neighbor put her kids in her car. This all happened within a 5 minute walk of my house. The other thing is that we all may just want to stop talking about New York in this context (this is hard to say for me because I like to talk about NYC). I just quickly looked up the square mileage of Manhattan (23 square miles -- the five boroughs of NYC are a total of 303 square miles) and Jackson (104.9). I'm not going to do the math and figure out the officer per square mile ratio, but we have what, 475 police officers in Jackson covering 104.9 miles. I don't know what the number of NYC police officers is (or will be after the Bloomburg admin. finishes its budget), but it just doesn't seem right to make the comparison if it's presence -- and eyes -- that seems to be one of the main deterents of crime. Donna mentioned the other things going in Manhattan as well -- business improvement districts with their own uniformed employees on the ground. The last thing about why the NYC example is not good is that prior to the aftermath of Sept. 11, Giuliani had an awful reputation in and out of the City. This reasonable Giuliani is a distorted view of his tenure as mayor. There is only about 10% of a Giuliani type mayor (at most) that I would want to have as my mayor.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-05-06T11:33:39-06:00
ID
76855
Comment

Matthew, you make good points. In the last week or so, I've seen the Fondren e-mails about the armed robberies, and they're terrifying. I'm certainly paying attention to what's going on around me, which I typically do, but it does seem more urgent right now. Crime is rising here and elsewhere. In my coverage to date, I've tried hard not to downplay the existence of real and serious crime, which is clearly there, but to put it in some perspective. And, most importantly, I believe it is irresponsible for anyone right now to argue that Jackson is so "drowning" in crime that we, or the city, can't do anything about it, and that somehow the magic bullet is an angry proclamation by a city official, which is ridiculous. You and I are in full agreement that *people* and community presence are key, not hiding out behind shuttered windows and waiting for the mayor to scare the criminals out of town. We are headed into tough times, economically speaking, with no end in sight: We all have to unite as a community to fight crime. And we shouldn't forget that criminals watch the news, too: If the sole message is a divided city that can't "control" crime and is trying to run its chief out of town, that well could encourage more crime. I shudder to think right now about bad it'll get if the anti-City forces succeed in driving Moore out in this current hysteria. Can you imagine the message that will send to criminals? Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, he has consistently talked about strategies that both his department and we can all participate in: Let's join in with the city and with each other to get community policing going, make suggestions and disagree civilly. It sounds like Fondren is trying its damnedest to do that, and I admire y'all for it. As for the Giuliani B.S., I couldn't agree more. The rhetoric about his strategies comes across very naive and unresearched and based in wishful thinking rather than on his track record. It's certainly not something to build a policing strategy on for this city. Thanks for addressing it.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T12:29:54-06:00
ID
76856
Comment

"P.S. Philip, your idea sounds a lot like the COMSTAT system that JPD employs already...." yes, - BUT - We need something that is accessible to EVERYONE - ALL THE TIME. In as real as time as possible... This can work, & I'm going to figure it out! So there! :-P thnx p

Author
dang ol' philip
Date
2003-05-06T12:49:03-06:00
ID
76857
Comment

Agreed about Giulianni! Most of my friends in NYC complained about Giulianni's efforts to turn Times Square into the new Disney/Gap/Starbucks until 9/11. After the Twin Towers, it seems many New Yorker's priorities were re-aligned and Times Square's and NYCs crime problems and/or commercialization were the least of their worries. Matthew, I just moved to the Fondren area and am quite pleased with the atmosphere though I see room for growth (which is obviously being stirred). Luckily, the community seems to be taking strides to remedy problems as they are presented. It is time to fight back! ...and the community appears to be winning slowly but surely minus a few setbacks. I too was pleased to see people lounging in their yards, walking dogs, cycling and socializing -- a prime reason for moving to the area from Belhaven Heights. I'm no crime specialist but I believe this type of interaction will definitely keep the Fondren area alive and eventually a much safer place!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-06T13:30:18-06:00
ID
76858
Comment

I don't entirely follow your idea, just as I don't quite get the crime database idea that the new crime group, headed by Rick Whitlock, is trying to do. You (and they) may need to spell out the specifics better of just how you would track crime in "real time" and ensure the accuracy of the information. Also, you wouldn't want to become some sort of tool for criminals by showing exactly where certain things (including increased policing in response to heavy crimes) are happening, I'd think. Police do need some element of surprise on their side. I recall the time I worked for a community newspaper in NY with some not-so-bright publishers who loved to put maps on the cover, but were scared of anything much more creative. We did a story on the XXX shops that were being relocated in the Times Square clean-up and they insisted on a map cover, worrying that anything else would be too salacious. As you can imagine, many Manhattan residents ended up with a map of porn shops! This came as a belated surprise to them. OK, I've digressed, but my point is that the rush to share data, unconfirmed or unmonitored in some way, can have unexpected consequences. Personally, I'm not a fan of Crime Tracker-type reports because they tend to track only certain crime in some neighborhoods and give a distorted view, and scare people to death. And they don't often tell what crimes are being solved. It doesn't strike me that Jackson folks are in need of any more crime fear, or any more excuses not to get out and about; they need to know how to prevent crime and how to get more people on the streets and looking out for each other rather than fewer. All of this is not to say, however, that your idea is not a good one. It's just not very clear to me, yet, what it is.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T13:35:24-06:00
ID
76859
Comment

On the topic of Fondren, the following just came around from their crime-watch e-mail list. They really seem to be taking positive community awareness-raising efforts, in addition to sharing crime stories. That is to be commended. From the list: WJTV and Fondren Renaissance Foundation would like to know your crime prevention practices. To vote on our online poll, please go to (YOU MIGHT HAVE TO COPY AND PASTE THE LINK BELOW): http://wjtv.com/fondrenpoll.html Please have each appropriate family member take part in the poll only ONCE. You can also see how others have voted. Thank you for you participation.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T13:38:27-06:00
ID
76860
Comment

This came from Fondren today, too: COMMUNITY PRAYER VIGIL NON-DENOMINATIONAL - EVERYONE IS INVITED!! THURSDAY MAY 15, 2003 7:00 P.M. FONDREN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH PARKING LOT 3220 OLD CANTON ROAD PLEASE BRING A CANDLE WE WILL PRAY FOR: OUR COMMUNITY, LEADERS, NEIGHBORHOODS, RESIDENTS, THOSE WHO ARE COMMITTING THE CRIMES, POLICE, CRIME PREVENTION, AND ANY OTHER INTENTIONS IF YOU ARE ABLE TO, PLEASE WALK IN SILENCE WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS TO THE PARKING LOT WITH YOUR CANDLE LIT. LEAVE YOUR PORCH LIGHT ON AT HOME. PLEASE ASK WACKENHUT TO PATROL YOUR STREET DURING THIS TIME.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T13:39:42-06:00
ID
76861
Comment

Oops. Someone just wrote and pointed out that I spelling Rick Whitlow's name wrong above. It's not Whitlock. Duh. I apologize for the error. Donna

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T14:49:16-06:00
ID
76862
Comment

The following e-mail from a WLBT reporter today, looking for crime victims, circulated in the Fondren community. Another e-mail went out in its wake from a Fondren resident, urging Fondrenians (sorry; just made that up!) to call Ms. Carter and explain the positive side of how Fondren residents are bonding together as a community through the recent crimes. It brings to mind the night of the Fondren Arts, Eats and Beats, when TV reporters were wandering through Fondren looking for people who had been victims of crime -- I suppose to provide some "balance" to an otherwise-glorious evening in the city. I know this because I ran into a friend there, who happens to be prominent resident of Woodland Hills and the wife of a former state elected official. She was furious that a reporter got in her face wanting just talk about crime on such a night. Subject: TO CRIME VICTIMS WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK OUT Hi! My name is Cindy Carter and I'm a reporter for WJTV. Today (Tuesday) I am working on a story about crime in the Fondren community. Specifically, I'm hoping to talk with someone who has had an incident happen at their home or in their driveway. We would like to give the on-going crime problem the attention it deserves, but we can't do that unless we talk with someone who has been a victim. If anyone is willing to come forward and let us interview them today, it would be greatly appreciated. The interview would only take a few minutes and, I believe, would help many viewers understand what's going on and how they can protect themselves. If you are willing to talk about your situation, please contact me as soon as possible at 346-1059. Thank you very much.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T17:18:56-06:00
ID
76863
Comment

I'm puzzled. Did the email come from a WLBT or WJTV reporter?

Author
Ex Libris
Date
2003-05-06T17:27:13-06:00
ID
76864
Comment

Okay, it must be two separate emails then...

Author
Ex Libris
Date
2003-05-06T17:30:24-06:00
ID
76865
Comment

Actually, it's a WJTV reporter. Thank you. Here's the e-mail sent around by Fondren resident Matthew Dalbey, who posted above earlier. ----------- Hi, The email below (see above) is going around the Fondren email server. I called Cindy Carter to suggest to her that in our neighborhood most of us are not sitting by idly. We are becoming more aware of comings and goings in our community, we are communicating with each other, taking precautions, walking with our cell phones, calling JPD when there are suspicious looking cars, etc... I suggested that addressing the crime issue as a community is an important component on any story done on crime in Fondren. The last thing we as a community need is another story detailing the latest crimes. These recent incidents are hair raising; I am scared at times and I have great compassion for those who have been victims and in many respects I know that it will likely get closer to me and my family at some point, BUT -- There are more than a few good things going on and any story by a local reporter must include something good. These are good things, from my perspective: 1. We are communicating with our neighbors. When something bad happens, most in the community know what is going on pretty quickly. We don't need to wait for JPD or the media to tell us what is going on. 2. More people are paying attention to what is going on in the streets outside our houses. 3. We talk to each other about this stuff. We wave more now, we are genuinely interested in how our neighbors are doing. 4. We have taken preventative action. Many people I know do circle the block before parking. We call our neighbors to say we are coming home (I have). 5. We carry cell phones and have no problem calling JPD when necessary. 6. We have trimmed bushes to have a better view of the street. 7. Fondren Foundation's crime committee. Last night a suspicious car was seen on Chickasaw about 7 pm. A neighbor called JPD from her house, but even before they arrived (and they came quickly) another neighbor saw the suspicious car as he was sitting on his porch -- and you know what, he said the suspicious car was being followed by another neighbor with their cell phone at their ear. Look, there's some bad stuff, but we ARE banding together to do something.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T18:42:59-06:00
ID
76866
Comment

Matthew e-mail, cont ... There is no way to know how many incidents these things have prevented, but it has to have prevented some. We will get through this, BUT -- this positive stuff must be reinforced!!! Please consider calling Cindy Carter below and telling her any discussion of the bad stuff MUST include some of the positive things we are doing in Fondren. Please, Please, Please.....

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T18:43:37-06:00
ID
76867
Comment

I've been meaning to post links to research about the media's over-coverage of crime and violence, and its potential harmful effects. Here's one. "Crime coverage has increased while real crime rates have fallen. While homicide coverage was increasing on the network news by 473% from 1990 to 1998 homicide arrests dropped 32.9% from 1990 to 1998." That's from a very interesting report by Building Blocks for Youth and the Justice Policy Institute: http://www.buildingblocksforyouth.org/media/factsheet.html Click here for a story about the report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (we could use more stories like this here in Jackson): http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010410crime2.asp

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-06T18:55:18-06:00
ID
76868
Comment

I've found the comments about the NYC model interesting reading. Am I the only one who saw the link between the private sector being willing to spend money on the Times Square project and the city actually doing something about the conditions in the area? I've found that to be true in observing community work in Jackson--community groups that are willing to spend their own money in an area (Fondren, Belhaven/Belhaven Heights, the Downtown BIP) have a lot fewer roadblocks to success and revitalization than those that don't. Fondren even recently got its own police precinct in one of the houses donated to them a couple of years ago! Even the Midtown work being done by Habitat for Humanity is not making the difference that the private investors are making in Fondren in terms of businesses and housing. Is the city sending the message that if you have the money to get something done, you do it and we won't put any road blocks in your way--otherwise it won't? I don't know. But it's a thought, nonetheless.

Author
JW
Date
2003-05-06T21:30:01-06:00
ID
76869
Comment

JW brings up some real good points. On the privatization of some of the formerly public functions in NYC like the Grand Central Partnership and the one in Times Square (can't think of the name), they are positive in most ways. These districts have inherent value unique to urban places -- these are monetary (property values), social value, cultural value, civic value, etc... That these partnerships are funded by businesses dictates the property value/monetary value of the place is most important. This, though, subsumes other qualities that are not easily quantified and may not be what's best in all places. It seems to work in NYC however -- but I know that the Grand Central Partnership employees (private sector employees) have much leeway in controlling public spaces such as sidewalks and streets. That may not be right. There's much to say here -- these partnerships and other community efforts seem to be successful in places where land and property have place based value. Look at cities where the downtown has cachet and property is sought after consistently. The land adjacent to the downtown is often among the most valuable land in the city, if not the metro area. There's something different going on here in Jackson. This argument is not fully formed in my brain yet (so hammer me if you want), it's just a start. There are lots of reasons why Midtown is not working yet. The fact that Milssaps has cloistered itself behind a fence is certainly one (same goes for Jackson State, its fence, and West Jackson). What are some other things that need to be fixed -- curbs, sidewalks, the zoning ordinance, a built fabric that's not subsumed to road corridors, etc... And finally, the answer to JW's last question -- absolutely yes. This is good for some neighborhoods, bad for others. From my perspective, this is good for my neighborhood, it's not a positive for the city as a whole. The city needs to help -- facilitate -- all neighborhoods in making themselves more complete, more whole. This facilitation will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Author
Matthew Dalbey
Date
2003-05-07T11:34:17-06:00
ID
76870
Comment

More real crime: http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0305/07/oorley.html

Author
Reader
Date
2003-05-07T23:35:30-06:00
ID
76871
Comment

Reader, no one said there's no "real" crime, including the "city fathers," as Hood calls them. I've searched the Clarion-Ledger's archives for a quote from city leaders saying there is "no crime problem," and I just can't find it. There is clearly a crime problem. No one is denying that. What is being debated is whether we take a helpless and hopeless view and blow it even further out of proportion, sending the message to criminals that it's out of control, and making the problem worse by scaring people to death. Or whether we band together, as Fondren resident Matthew Dalbey argues above, and unite behind the police and the sheriff to bring in effective "community policing," or whatever you want to call it, rather than waiting for the police to round up anyone who might think about committing a crime in our neighborhoods, which as more the Giuliani approach. Or to start mentoring young people. Or get to know our neighbors. Or to reach out to a church group in another community and say, How can we help? I was struck by the perspective of Hood's sweet narrative about "his" childhood and what Jackson was. During his childhood, and most of mine (my memories are glowing, too), Jackson was not all those things to very many of its residents. They had no access to most of the very institutions he mentioned. They were segregated into poor neighbohoods and schools. It was forced integration that caused people to run to the suburbs and academies, and pull the tax base out from under the city. Imagine an alternative universe where they would have stayed and worked to keep the city shining and vibrant -- for everyone. But they didn't. Sure, they had the right to flee, but not understanding or acknowleding the roots of the city's problems long enough to repair them is naive and counter-productive. It must be painful for many Jackson residents to read Hood's reminiscences of things they were not allowed to experience from someone who now goes home to the suburbs at night. Reality is, crime is in the suburbs, too, and will continue to be if the root causes aren't attacked now by a coalition of people who care, rather than used as a PR-political tool to make the city look bad. more ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-08T11:20:51-06:00
ID
76872
Comment

More ... There are *many* Jacksonians, especially ones too young to have made those exodus decisions, who now want to band together and bring Jackson back. And, guess what, we're doing it. Many others would prefer to see it fall apart so they can blame people they don't like (and probably tear apart what they fear could become a powerful voting bloc). I sure know which side I'm on. I love the city, I live in it, and all of it (cautiously, but never in fear), and I'm going to continue to praise the positives and look for ways to reduce the negatives without useless fingerpointing all the time. I hope other readers will do the same. United we stand.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-08T11:21:47-06:00
ID
76873
Comment

PT1 Wow, much ado over my simple posting of a link. I've purposefully refrained (besides posting a grand total of two links) from this discussion because I don't believe that crime in Jackson is the illness but rather a symptom of a much bigger systemic problem the City is facing -- that being an absence of leadership and tax base migration. When you have mothers being mugged in their driveways with their children still belted in their car seats you've got a serious problem. When you have senior citizens being targeted at the Kroeger and followed home by thugs with pre-meditated robbery on their minds you've got a serious problem. It won't be long now before some of the well armed members of our citizenry start to fire their own weapons (more people are packing every day) and this whole spasm the Chief calls "perception" will turn a new, more deadly corner of escalation. Once that cat gets out of the bag, watch out. This whole discussion (both in the C-L and all three of the periodic alternatives) is also inordinately centered around Fondren/Woodland Hills, Belhaven/the Heights, Downtown and the I55 Business corridor. No one is reporting about the mothers getting mugged (more often) in their West Jackson or South Jackson driveways while their children look on. No one is reporting about the children growing up in those neighborhoods and the long term psychological impacts their environment and that kind of stress will have on their lives.

Author
Reader
Date
2003-05-08T14:55:36-06:00
ID
76874
Comment

PT2 No one is reporting about how the parents in these neighborhoods have been screaming for years and years to our City leadership for something to be done about the crime but it never changes. Don't fool yourself, those parents would all move their families out of Jackson in a heartbeat, if they could. Many, many already have. No amount of walking around the neighborhood, candlelight vigils and back slapping the neighbors is going to resolve our crime problem in the absence of our City Leadership (Mayor, Police Chief, City Council and Hinds County Judiciary including the DA) reaching a new and profound level of enlightenment -- and not just about crime. Its about getting back to basics, communication and, most importantly, leadership. Sadly, the main player in our specific form of City government here in Jackson has demonstrated that his primary focus is on leaving a legacy of new monuments in the form of buildings downtown rather than making sure the City can block, tackle and deliver the basics daily with grace and aplomb. At the next election we have to demand accountability and peace in our City. It will be up to us to make that happen at the polls. For right now we just have to hang on and do the best we can because the dogs we have in the mix right now just don't hunt. By the way, I live in Jackson.

Author
Reader
Date
2003-05-08T14:56:34-06:00
ID
76875
Comment

Reader, the ado wasn't over the link, but probably more to the "real crime" reference. Sorry if I read too much sarcasm into it! ;-) That said, I probably would have said just as much about that column without it. Otherwise, your post looks compelling, but I must run off to a fashion shoot now and various stuff the rest of the day. I'll definitely converse with you on it later, though. I love how this discussion is developing here and out in the community. That's what's got to happen so we can get past sound bites and onto solutions. More soon ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-08T15:42:09-06:00
ID
76876
Comment

PT 1 I agree with 'Reader' on many points; I don't know that many people could disagree with all of his/her comments entirely. Sadly, a new mayor, police chief, etc, may not solve the problem at the expected speeds necessary by those leading the press attacks; a transition could potentially contribute to an increase in crime due to the passing of the torch which requires a "settling into Office". We have been through chief after chief and plenty of vacant offices with no immediate results or fixes. The resolution is no quick fix and will take some time, cooperation and effort both by the officials and the community. After all, this crime problem has been building for 10+ years; it will not go away over night; if you expect otherwise, you are fooling yourself. Maybe we should give the chief more than 10 months to produce DRAMATIC results? Again, he is dealing with at least 10+ years of possible corruption, vacancy, and more! Heck! Bankruptcy filings often take longer than the chief has been allowed to remove crime. I am all about seeing results but do have realistic expectations when it comes to problem resolutions. He's walked into a position where he is forced to stop an avalanche of bad PR, corruption, enraged communities, and reckless, volatile criminals. I would like to see anyone else handle this snowball in a different manner that would show results immediately without turning Jackson into a police state or receiving the very same attacks from the community and press. It's not as simple as the Time Square sweeps of moving porn to a new street and upgrading to Starbucks and MTV. Give the man (Moore) a small break and some room to flex his muscle! Maybe he IS the chief we've been searching for but has not been given the proper amount of time. I doubt he wishes to ruin his career by slacking or simply passing the PR-buck onto the mayor or citizens... And I sincerely doubt he wishes to have the deaths and wounded spirits of the citizens of Jackson haunting him for the rest of his life. It seems like nothing these people do will ever be right to a growing number of inert observers. The fact that they are making an effort (even as officials) is impressive since many of my own associates prefer to hide and live as victims while never experiencing a crime in their lives. This is the "perception" problem many have spoken about recently and the reason it is a huge concern...

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-08T16:51:50-06:00
ID
76877
Comment

PT 2 Contrary to the comments about "walking around the neighborhood, candlelight vigils and back slapping the neighbors" I believe these tactics DO work. Ever heard of a neighborhood watch? Ever heard they are effective deterrants to crime? They are! By introducing myself to my neighbors and interacting with the community, a bond is formed that creates a web of security and watchful eyes. I think this is probably one of the better ways to introduce "community policing" to a community that has no idea of the term -- think of it as a "neighborhood watch" but on a more educated and robust level. And you'd be a fool to believe efforts of this nature do not work -- ask the NYC about the Guardian Angels. On the point of people "fleeing" Jackson if given the opportunity -- I agree and disagree whole-heartedly. I think there are many people that think this would solve their problems... And it probably would in many circumstances. But there are also many people moving into the city and taking advantage of the community's efforts; they actually want to be a part of the revitalization and renaissance as well as the reduction of crime. Fondren, especially, has seen an increase in rented/leased and sold homes since the revitalization efforts began. Why Fondren? Again, because of their increased vigilance and determination to increase the value of the neighborhood and the quality of life for its residents. This is how the community wins itself back -- by being proactive and not retreating in fear; by introducing itself as a united people of many origins that share a common goal and purpose! Reader, I fully agree that at "the next election we have to demand accountability and peace in our City"! Who would not agree with those statements? That statement begs a question: Who has not been making those demands? If you want to turn it on that end, it may be easily said, the communities are (in)directly responsible for not making those demands sooner or during the previous elections; after all, the officials most people are complaining about are elected officials or results of those that were elected. From this vantage point, the community and the community alone are responsible for the current situation... But, of course, it's easier to place the blame on the administration rather than our own decisions to vote for certain officials.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-08T16:53:04-06:00
ID
76878
Comment

And finally, PT 3 Watchdog groups? I would like to see these watchdog groups grow but I think rather than acting as "police of the police", they should instead be partners of the police. Hell, why not contribute monies to the force to bring on more officers? According to articles I've read, most of their salaries would cover the cost! If they are such great fund raisers, you'd think they'd use that to boost the officer's pay rates! Nah! Instead let's continue to dog the mayor and his cohorts and live a fantasy that these men do absolutely nothing to better this city! I see why Johnson or Moore could interpret these groups as political. And finally, for the sake of argument, I have conversed with many people about this issue (crime). To those that demand the results immediately from Chief Moore (i.e., yesterday), I simply ask, "Do you support Bush?" They generally say, "Yes." Then, I challenge their support by asking, "If you expect immediate change and crime reduction from Moore, why do you not demand the same type of immediacy of Bush?" Often, "What?" follows that statement. I then point out that Bush still has not caught the man labeled the mastermind behind 9/11, Osama... Actually, it seems his accountability for this man-hunt has nearly diminished as a "new war" has grown. C'mon... If Bush can't find one man with all the technology (satellites, wiretaps, bombs, traitors, spies, etc) and trillions upon trillions of dollars at his disposal in the past year and a half, how can Moore resolve our crime problem in approximately 10 months? My point throughout all these words are -- it is time to start being realistic and supportive of our communities, efforts, and leaders. It is time to unify and stop placing blame on the officials and put it back where it belongs --onto the criminals.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-08T16:56:19-06:00
ID
76879
Comment

http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0305/10/lpaullemon.html Huh? Guest columnist Paul Lemon included the following sentence today in the Clarion-Ledger, in which he argues that we should get tougher on crime. "For example, when a person commits a crime such as murder, rape, armed robbery or burglary, he or she is put to death within 10 days of the trial." "Put to death" for burglary? Up until I read this sentence, I was considering blogging a bit to discuss some of the individual points in his piece -- which seems to rely on no hard facts or research, especially to support his idea that his approach will deter crimes -- but after I read this sentence, I realized this must be another in the Clarion-Ledger's new crime satire series (started with the catfish-flight editorial earlier in the week). At least the C-L gets credit for knowing not to label its efforts to make fun of the news as "SATIRE" as I've seen some others oddly do lately (just in case readers don't get it, I guess). Real satire requires no label, as we can well see here.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-10T14:22:22-06:00
ID
76880
Comment

In case y'all missed the catfish-crime gag: http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0305/09/leditorial.html Best line: "So, notice to all Jackson criminals: Go back to your robbing, thieving, murdering ways. Don't molest the art!" That's quite a quote. Let's hope no one lifts the C-L out of context anytime soon. And here's the sidesplitting closer: "New city motto: Home of the Bottom-Feeders." With friends like these ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-10T14:28:55-06:00
ID
76881
Comment

Back to Knol's comment about people's desire for immediate results: I don't think the "you've had enough time to get something done" mentality is really directed at Chief Moore. I think it's aimed at Harvey Johnson. Let's look at his record in hiring police chiefs: 1) Said in no uncertain terms that he was going to hire a new police chief as soon as he took office, although Robert Johnson (now head of MS Corrections) was doing a fine job and even had the personnel left over to patrol the interstate to catch speeders (you should have heard the howling about crime prevention then!) 2) Took an unconscinably long time to decide to promote Johnson's chief deputy Bracy Coleman 3) Has not yet confirmed or denied widespread reports about why Coleman resigned suddenly 4) Installed an interim police chief then ducked questions about when a new search would be begun and what his timetable was for hiring a new chief 5) Backed away from his "adamant" position that JPD should promote from within (which was his rationale in firing Robert Johnson in the first place) and conducted another long-drawn-out national search, resulting in the hiring of Chief Moore and the rejection of at least two JPS veterans for the job. I think the indictment is against Johnson rather than Moore--he's had six-seven years to reform the police department, make it more responsive to "the community" and make a difference in crime in the city--and it is so not happening.

Author
JW
Date
2003-05-12T16:25:28-06:00
ID
76882
Comment

Exactly, JW. I think you're absolutely right that the whole crime dust-up is targeted at the mayor. But that point alone makes the whole thing seem political rather than focused on finding solutions, doesn't it? If you're really interested in solving crime issues here as the top priority, why play politics now with the mayor, using Moore as a sacrificial lamb, before we've had a chance to see the effects of the chief's strategies? That sounds like trying to split the baby in half for questionable reasons to me. Otherwise, I'm not quite ready to go point-by-point in a discussion on the mayor's history and the qualifications with the PD quite yet. I'm still digging that out, and it is interesting. But I'm getting the impression that it's not quite as easy as you've made it sound -- i.e. that the mayor's an idiot and all the current JPD guys that Northeast Jacksonians liked were perfect. Crime has dropped dramatically in the years since Johnson was elected (albeit probably not due to his policies; it dropped everywhere during a good economy), and the PD was certainly a mess at the end of the '90s and through last year. Is there ever a time our PD wasn't a mess? And it sounds like that had a lot to do with who was running the department before Moore came. The impression I'm getting so far -- but I'm still doing homework -- is that the city was desperately ready for new blood last year, with someone equipped to deal with the special problems and race dynamics of Jackson. I'm not saying Moore was that person, but he hasn't proved he isn't, yet -- and if you look at his record, the reasons the mayor hired him are pretty apparent.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-12T22:36:53-06:00
ID
76883
Comment

Exactly, JW. I think you're absolutely right that the whole crime dust-up is targeted at the mayor. But that point alone makes the whole thing seem political rather than focused on finding solutions, doesn't it? If you're really interested in solving crime issues here as the top priority, why play politics now with the mayor, using Moore as a sacrificial lamb, before we've had a chance to see the effects of the chief's strategies? That sounds like trying to split the baby in half for questionable reasons to me. Otherwise, I'm not quite ready to go point-by-point in a discussion on the mayor's history and the qualifications with the PD quite yet. I'm still digging that out, and it is interesting. But I'm getting the impression that it's not quite as easy as you've made it sound -- i.e. that the mayor's an idiot and all the current JPD guys that Northeast Jacksonians liked were perfect. Crime has dropped dramatically in the years since Johnson was elected (albeit probably not due to his policies; it dropped everywhere during a good economy), and the PD was certainly a mess at the end of the '90s and through last year. Is there ever a time our PD wasn't a mess? And it sounds like that had a lot to do with who was running the department before Moore came. The impression I'm getting so far -- but I'm still doing homework -- is that the city was desperately ready for new blood last year, with someone equipped to deal with the special problems and race dynamics of Jackson. I'm not saying Moore was that person, but he hasn't proved he isn't, yet -- and if you look at his record, the reasons the mayor hired him are pretty apparent.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-05-12T22:37:00-06:00
ID
76884
Comment

I do think a lot of people sounding off about crime now (the mover-shaker type people) are playing politics with JPD. But I don't think you can say the JPD has ever been out from under the stranglehold of politics. I know when I moved here in the very early 90's, Kane Ditto was under enormous political pressure to make the "right" hire for JPD chief--and we got Sunglasses Man, Jimmy Wilson, who had headed the Washington DC PD when it became the Murder Capital of America. He lasted about 18 months, if I remember correctly. AFter another disruption and interim, Ditto had the great good sense to hire Robert Johnson, who announced his intentions to enforce all the laws--including the speed limits on I-55 and 220. The outburst from suburbia and environs within Jackson that followed was the most hypocritical thing I've seen in a LONG time ("What do you mean you're going to pull me over? I'm out here working for a living and trying to get to my job? Can't you can't find some drug dealer to harass?") So Ditto made sure to put an end to that kind of talk. Otherwise, Johnson was very effective until cashiered by Harvey; his stats were a giant improvement over Wilson's, especially homicide and murder rates. No one currently raising Cain about the crime problem in Jackson is without a political agenda. What bothers me is that the city won't admit it has a political agenda either: ensuring Harvey Johnson's reelection (and other people's) by perpetuating the political status quo in Jackson--a short-term win that may have long-term negative consequnces.

Author
JW
Date
2003-05-12T23:39:12-06:00
ID
76885
Comment

Another example of community policing... While JPD was slow to the scene, WLBT had the opportunity to catch the fleeing burglar on film! http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=1276873&nav=1L7tFnmk Not to mention the 3 arrests associated with the Fondren fiasco... With everyone participating on all levels as they have been recently, it appears as though we can challenge these criminals and take back our 'hoods.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-14T11:53:07-06:00
ID
76886
Comment

There is an idea. Instead of staffing up at JPD let's increase the number of WLBT crews on the street and then outsource the law enforcement end to the Hinds County Sheriff's Department. Sorry Aust, I don't see this as positive PR for JPD or the community policing effort.

Author
Reader
Date
2003-05-14T13:26:40-06:00
ID
76887
Comment

HA! Reader, you totally make my day. Your pessimism (I'm sure you call it "realism") far outweighs my own and makes me smile with each and every post. Hmmm... Outsource policing? You mean like ADT, Wackenhut, etc? Actually, I've seen that in nearly every metroplex I've visited; it's not rare. Most businesses have their own security systems and a large portion of those have armed guards. Seems like if you want to proactively protect your property, you have to do just that rather than expecting the police to come sit on your doorstep and guard your belongings (hell, why don't they deliver pizza while there at it? I mean, they are here to "serve" and protect, right?). As for this looking bad on JPD? I agree somewhat and the issue with Belhaven Heights zoning has been addressed by the community. I think it reinforces Belhaven Heights' request to be placed under Preceint 4 rather than 2 and should definitely be used as weight in their argument for Pct. 4 zoning. It's a 5-10mn drive from the preceint to that neighborhood; calculate downtown/CBD/Interstate traffic and the timeline stretches. WLBT being on the same street this shot was taken I'm sure has NOTHING to do with their speedy arrival. It's only a few blocks away... Far closer than any police headquarters. Reader, I think your pessimism reflects a large part of the problem. EVERYONE can complain and obviously many have no problem doing so! Very few are bringing to the table viable, complete, and useful solutions/alternatives other than "JPD, do your job!". I think if you spent more time providing solutions in your criticism and less negativity and blunt attacks, people might welcome your input a little more and might even subscribe to your diatribe. The point of my post was that people are joining together to irradicate crime. Fortunately WLBT cared enough about the story (or the ratings) to arrive and caught this "criminal" on film while others in the 'hood reported the crime while it was happening. This is community policing at its best and is no stranger to the urban world outside Jackson and Mississippi. Still, I can not figure out why it's not simply called "common sense policing". You see a crime, you report it quickly so the police CAN do their job. By the way, if you prefer to call me by name or address me personally, it is Knol... or Knol Aust... Not Aust. Though I hardly see myself needing to introduce myself to anonymous posters. >FLAME ON!

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-14T17:18:11-06:00
ID
76888
Comment

Here's something that's puzzled me since our 'crime spree' began that some of you might be able to shed some light on for me. Why has crime increased dramatically in the Fondren neighborhood since the JPD Precinct 4 headquarters was moved right into the middle of it? Is it just coincidence or did their move apply more pressure to areas that previously were less policed and therefore caused criminals to seek different territory (ie Fondren) ? lgn >>>don't you hate trying to delete a period that won't go away and then realizing it's just dirt on the screen?<<<

Author
lowgreynite
Date
2003-05-15T11:58:17-06:00
ID
76889
Comment

Here's something that's puzzled me since our 'crime spree' began that some of you might be able to shed some light on for me. Why has crime increased dramatically in the Fondren neighborhood since the JPD Precinct 4 headquarters was moved right into the middle of it? Is it just coincidence or did their move apply more pressure to areas that previously were less policed and therefore caused criminals to seek different territory (ie Fondren) ? lgn >>>don't you hate trying to delete a period that won't go away and then realizing it's just dirt on the screen?<<<

Author
lowgreynite
Date
2003-05-15T11:58:28-06:00
ID
76890
Comment

I was pondering the same thing the other night, lgn. It's possible many of the residents let their guard down due to the proximity of the police affording criminals more avenues to exploit. One of those arrested was from the W. Fondren area and probably had plenty of time to scope out the area as a resident. From a few searches, the others were from W. and NW Jackson and were probably friends or "recruits". It will be interesting to see the story behind the 4 arrested unfold and see how many crimes are associated with them. Still, I agree -- it is rather puzzling that shortly after the move crime has spiked in the area which definitely does not help PR for that Pct. Kudos to the Police for determining and apprehending the culprits! Hopefully, this will be a new trend.

Author
Knol Aust
Date
2003-05-15T13:38:30-06:00
ID
76891
Comment

Earlier in this post, someone expressed interest in a crime mapping system that is accessible to the public. Check out this website of the Memphis police department: https://crimemapper.memphispolice.org/crimemapper/ For an example, enter the following into the search by street interstection fields: Vance Ave, East St, Memphis. BTW, you have to have cookies enabled.

Author
Justin
Date
2004-04-20T00:06:07-06:00

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