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August 26, 2013

Stop and Frisk

In times of crisis individual freedoms are sacrificed for the long term viability of the nation. This happened  after the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. Security was tightened at airports, cameras were installed in cities and internet activities by citizens are still being monitored by the NSA. Everyone agreed that the country needed to to step up its security and accepted the fact that individual freedoms  had to be temporarily sacrificed to some degree.

Yes, there presently is much discussion relating to whether the NSA has gone too far with its phone wire taping and tracking movement on the internet, but there was general agreement after 911 we needed to take extraordinary actions.

Detroit is in a time of crisis and if drastic actions are not taken the city will continue to lose population and its financial troubles will get worse. Detroit does not have the luxury of just implementing long term solutions, waiting for these efforts to bare fruit and all will be well. Detroit does not have the luxury of time.

A core objective of the city must be to increase population and this is not going to happen if the city does not gain better control of its crime problem. A young family with children is not going to move into Detroit if its crime rates are soaring and its schools are under performing. Further, the same problem exists if someone is offered a job in the city. After reviewing the current crime problems facing Detroit the new family moving into the area will choose one of the suburbs as their place of residence.

This is why I am in favor of  a thought out, properly controlled Stop and Frisk program carried out by the City's police department. The program must be tightly monitored by an independent body and it must have an expiration date, say five years, at which time a decision would be made whether to renew it. In order to further protect against improper actions on the part of the police they should be required to wear cameras to monitor and review their actions. This technology is already being utilized in Rialto, California.
Per this report, "THE Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24."
Yes this is drastic action, but the alternative of not doing it is worse.

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