1.02.2009

Leis, Streicher Fearmongering Tactics

Say crime will go up in Cincinnati in 2009

You knew it was coming. As soon as voters refused to allocate new tax monies for a bigger jail, that Simon Leis and his boys would start the fearmongering about increased crime on the streets of Cincinnati. And of course, the only "newspaper" in town would back them up. You can read the it here.

Now, the FBI and the Ohio Department of Safety show that crime is down for the past several years. You can check out the stats here.

In fact, the only increase that I can find is in burglaries. All other crimes have been dropping since 2000. Yet, Sheriff Leis, Police Chief, Tom Streicher and Common Pleas Judge Nick Nadel are telling us to brace for an onslaught of criminal violence in coming years, because criminals are being released back onto the streets. Never mind that most of the time the arrests made by Leis and company are for misdemeanor drugs, traffic violations or prostitution in Over the Rhine. And those not fueled by drugs, are fueled by alcohol. Officials admit that those being released are nonviolent offenders. Some of the alleged bad guys with repeat raps are being turned loose with ankle monitors and placed on house arrest.

Since they can no longer lock people up for useless reasons, maybe now is the time to explore other means of fighting crime. Maybe it’s time to stop assuming that all black guys and inner city youth are potential criminals who need to be constantly watched, harassed and locked up when they jay walk or spit on a sidewalk. Just from watching the news you can tell that most of these high speed chases are guys running from a bunch of misdemeanor warrants, rather than a violent or felony crime, in the first place. Somebody has more than two warrants on anything, boot their cars, impound their cars, til they show up in court or leave Ohio. Take their cars and auction them off to make money for the county.

How about some programs designed to get guns off the streets and out of the neighborhoods. How about other means like treatment for alcohol and drug abusers. Or if you want to save some money, take the cops out of the cruisers, park the cars and walk the neighborhoods, or put more bikes on the street, or maybe scooters. Cops walking a regular beat will clear the streets, very quickly. The guys won’t hang on the corners if the cops are hanging there with them, or regularly walking by. How about getting rid of those "white hat" uniforms, in favor of something a little more street, that doesn't shout "cop" at first sighting, or from ten blocks away.

Do more enforcement in the suburbs. I’ve said this before, those who buy drugs from inner city kids don’t live in the neighborhood. If you’re going to throw the book at somebody, how about throwing it at the kid in his parent’s range rover, who drove into Avondale from West Chester to score some weed. Or how about prostitution. Leave the girls and boys who peddle their behinds, selling BJs for 10- bucks, alone. Get them into treatment. Take out the johns who are buying. They don’t live in Over the Rhine either. Make a big deal out of their arrests. Give the Enquirer something to do. Let it print the mugshots of the busted johns on the front page.

Better yet, let's legalize prostitution and tax the hell out it.

How about giving those nonviolent, albeit undisciplined youth a choice, jail or the army, with a minimum of three years. The army needs people and last year it lowered requirements to accept felons. Still won’t take gays, but it will take a lawbreaker. So accommodate America, send those who want to act up in society or not go to school, to the armed forces. If it’s a first offense, they get to choose. If they get busted again, then they go to Afghanistan, period. That gets them off the streets. No new jail needed.

Scare tactics like Leis announcing that deputies are being pulled from metal detector duty at the courthouse are ludicrous. Building more jails has never worked. Police officials and Judges unwilling to evolve past lock em up and throw away the key, need to retire effective immediately.
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