Community Policing, would it benefit Canton Ohio?

I can’t be bothered to make some silly quip about residents working hand in hand with the Canton Police Department being the building blocks of making a better community or whatever.

I will say that cooperation is the only way to clean up the City.  STEAL from other cities’ programs, but only their ideas, not the money.

Money, in fact, will soon be pouring into Canton as $21.5 millions in stimulus funds are on their way.

What better way to use these (after a job creation initiative) than to start a Community Involvement/Policing Program.  More neighborhood watches, with citizen patrols.  Neighbors looking out for one another.  Annual block parties throughout the wards to encourage neighbors to get to know one another, and have the police officers attend these so that the people can get to know the fine men and women that have the dangerous job of protecting their lives and property.

I also had the idea of equipping responsible and concerned citizens, temporarily, with cheap, but decent quality video cameras, to provide evidence of crimes going on right outside their homes.  From drug deals, to prostitution, you could publicize license plate numbers, and use the CONFIDENTIAL footage to help build cases against those breaking the law and actually crack down on crime in Canton.

Community support must be there for any of these type of programs to succeed.  I would hope that Canton would hold informaional meetings in all the wards to have actual dialogue with the citizens.  To target what each sector of the city needs to be a better and safer place to live.  To sign up residents to help.

I also hope they would first have police explain the laws to them, over what is and isn’t legal in the Community Policing Initiative.  Citizens’ Arrests (very rare, I believe) should not be encouraged, as it’s a good way to get hurt, or hurt someone and have them sue you.

The plain fact is that an armed and conscientious citizenry deters crime.  I’ve done a lot of reading on a lot of subjects, and gun control is one of them.  It doesn’t work.  Criminals will always be able to procure a gun, and part of the reason we have such a low crime rate in this country is because of the gun that MIGHT be in the bedside table.  If you look at Australia, which has been anti-gun for years (they even have fancy laws that say a gun and its ammunition must be XX feet away from each other and always stored under lock and key).  They’ve also been destroying guns for years over there.  So what happens?  Young hooligans break into elderly folks’ homes because they are CERTAIN these people have no way to defend themselves.  In the U.S. though, criminals usually don’t go breaking into occupied homes at night, for fear of the old ‘shotgun enema.’

Now, if you want to scream about children and how they will inevitably slaughter each other if they even see a gun in the home, I call horseshit.  The NRA has a very effective “Eddie Eagle” or whatever it’s called program, that teaches kids the first thing you do if you find a gun is to go get a responsible adult.  But kids without any safety training will usually play with it and point it at each other and pull the trigger.

The only reason the child death rate is so high (due to gun induced homicide) is that people with no common sense slant the facts and the studies to make it so.  Did you know that children includes everyone up to the age of 19, and all drug violence as well.  When you exclude these statistics, and put it down to accidental death by guns, SWIMMING and BICYCLING each kill more kids every year than “dangerous guns,” so where are the parents’ groups trying to outlaw those killer activities?

Coded trigger locks, when used properly, can prevent many of those very few accidental shootings in this country.

I forget which book I swiped these facts from, and they are facts.  I would credit it if I knew.  Anyway, police officers actually LOVE an armed and conscientious populace.  The shooting rate for police is much higher than the shooting rate of private citizens with guns, because the police are always forced to act, whereas a citizen has a choice to get involved or not get involved in a situation.

The citizens of Canton, Ohio, do not all need to be packing heat to deter criminals, they just need to be encouraged to do so, and make sure it’s widely publicized.  I’ve heard that some of the most polite people you’ll find reside in towns that are ‘open carry,’ and I don’t really suggest we take it that far, but it’s definitely a working deterrent in some areas.

Also, to those who would try to claim that ‘increased guns on the street lead to increased violence,’ I say:  ‘only in certain cases.’  Increased guns in law-abiding citizens’ hands increase defense.  Increased illegal guns all over the city increase the chances of gun violence.

I’d like to tell you a little story that was told to me once by a college professor, paraphrased of course.

“Back in the day, in the Middle East, there were a bunch of terrorists that wanted to kill a whole bunch of people (be they Jews, or another sect of religion or whatever).  So they gave them guns and stories of martyrdom and sent them to the market square.  The terrorist pulls out his gun and *pop*pop*pop*, shoots three people of the hated ethnicity/religion, and panic ensues.   But by the time he goes to pull the trigger again, the local shopkeeper has emptied his skull with his personal weapon.  See, that’s the reason they use RPGs and automobiles for shrapnel bombs, because their gun idea failed miserably at killing and maiming as many people as possible.  Plus, with the ready availablity of weapons over there, many citizens are armed for personal defense.”

Anyway, I’ll debate anyone who wants to disagree with me on these points in the comments, as long as they are respectful, with cogent arguments, I’ll promise you the same in return.  Granted, I’ve not provided a tonne of useful links in this post, but the proof is out there for anyone who cares to look with an open mind.  Of course I don’t really expect any responses, seeing as how I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit, but hey, what can I say, life has been hectic.  More posts that would benefit Canton, Ohio are coming soon.

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 Politico

Leave a Reply