Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crime In New York Another War on Terror : Fight it to Win By Any Means Necessary

Crime In New York Another War on Terror : Fight it to Win By Any Means Necessary
Thursday, December 11th, 2008

The safety of our citizens is not a luxury. The war on crime is as important as the war on terror. In reality, it is a war on terror. We can’t walk away from it. Because it won’t walk away from us.

There are a lot of parallels between one celled organisms that afflict the human race and criminals. One celled organisms are constantly adapting and changing to overcome new weapons designed to fight them. We have all heard of penicillin resistant bacteria for which new antibiotics must be found.

Designer drugs serve two purposes. One is to provide new and better highs for drug users. The other is to circumvent laws that have targeted other drugs. Heroin was once advertised as a non addictive substitute for opium. The tendency towards adaptive behavior among criminals extends far beyond the common smash and grab knuckleheads. It includes the chemists behind the scenes, computer experts and a whole list of criminal professionals.

There are even fashion trends in the world of crime. Years ago, it was groping in city pools. At intervals there has been a spike in street electronic like cell phones and i pods.

My concern now is the reports of crime against New York City bus drivers. Just recently, Edwin Thomas, a bus driver was killed when he argued with a passenger who refused to pay. He left behind two devastated children in their teens who are facing life without their father or mother, since their mother had previously passed away.

The latest outrage is the robbery of a city bus driver, who according to the New York Post was robbed of her diamond engagement ring.The New York Post reports as follows.

A Queens bus driver was attacked yesterday when a male passenger stole her $1,500 gold and diamond ring, union and police sources said.

The violence came just nine days after a Brooklyn bus driver was stabbed to death while on the job.

“Tamica King, 31, was driving the Q66 at 7:40 a.m. near Queens Plaza North when her only passenger sat behind her and grabbed a brown paper bag that contained her lunch.

A struggle ensued, and the bag fell, breaking a bottle inside. The thug used a piece of broken glass to cut King’s right wrist, causing a minor wound.

He also pulled the ring off King’s finger before he ran off the bus.”

The perception on the street is that crime is up. A lot of crime that is not reported is discussed and publicised. It is unfortunate, because police allocate resources according to crime reports and crime locations. I am particularly concerned about crime against bus drivers and train conductors. It is an attack on the City and therefore on the people of New York. It also creates magnified fear among passengers who are a captive audience to such occurrences.

The City is facing unprecedented budget cuts. This is due to the poor performance of the stock market in recent months. It would be tempting to wield the budget axe against the Police Department along with everyone else in city government. I believe that this is penny wise and pound foolish.

The gains in New York City’s war on crime created a climate in which business thrived. If a business owner is afraid of being killed if he opens up in a bad area, then he will not open in that neighbourhood, denying an already troubled section of the city more jobs and depriving the city of tax revenues. Brooklyn has benefited greatly from stores like Target, The Gap and Starbucks providing sought after jobs. The companies that invested in the five boroughs were attracted by the prospect of reasonable taxes and reasonable expectations of safety. It is as critical to protect our gains in the war on crime as it is to keep banks and auto companies solvent.

In positive and in negative respects, New York City is a trend setter. It would be very unfortunate if we were to cut law enforcement’s lines in the city budget. There is a hidden but huge dividend in peaceful streets that can be measured in dollars and cents.

Many private cars have security systems that locate the vehicle and dispatch law enforcement at the press of a button. City bus drivers need and deserve such technology. It should be easy to respond to a distress call from a bus driver. They should not be seen as easy targets.

There is no axiomatic correlation between a bad economy and high crime. There is a lot more correlation between high crime and flawed law enforcement strategies. More importantly, there is a correlation between prevalence of criminality and decaying family structure, although the government’s role in addressing this facet of the problem is very limited.

New York is kept afloat by hard working people, caring parents like Edwin Thomas, who was so cruelly taken from us by a depraved criminal. It is fortunate that the other bus driver only lost her engagement ring and not her life. But we should not be dismissive of crimes in which “only” property is lost. Past experience has shown us that those willing to consider robbery will also contemplate murder.

The safety of our citizens is not a luxury. The war on crime is as important as the war on terror. In reality, it is a war on terror. We can’t walk away from it. Because it won’t walk away from us.

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