Joseph Moore's Public Safety Meeting last Monday was more of a vent-fest. Moore's panel did not successfully facilitate enough comments on how law enforcement can creatively protect the public. At one point, Moore told a local attorneys to 'sue local criminals.' This 'Moore Mantra' should change. State legislators like Osterman and Steans should help to meaningfully re-evaluate and re-codify the dram laws.
Whether a conscientious effort emeges may depend upon the few offending liquor stores. Have they contributed enough to create a conflict of interest among legislators? Some bars and liquor stores merit less attention. Impotent political incest complete with 'Fagus and the 'Yes men'' does little to encourage the public's trust.
There is a place and a purpose for everything. Ineffective assistance of alderman or legislator counsel is unactionable. Your vote can make a difference. However, Moore is not completely responsible for ineffective or unwilling law enforcement; only for maintaining the status quo. Police officers should not mock residents when they try to help other neighbors. Officers should not 'glance and glide,' in their cruisers when dispatched to a trouble spots. It seems like mob action sometimes waits to return when 'the heat' moves south. Where is that subsequent timely drive by by our caring peace officers?
Assault, disturbing the peace, drinking in the public way, littering, statutory rape, and tagging are crimes. Chicago may have an easement over property. However, in doing so, it should reasonably enforce laws when private property is abused by litter bugs or the beligerent. Why can't these folks lose driving, licensing, transportation, or some meaningful privilege like the right to purchase alcohol until they shape up?
What about community service? When tolerated, in the absence creative policing, law enforcement sends the wrong message. Alderman Moore knows that the public cannot sue a 'judgment proof roving nuisance.' We know that if there is no enforceable penalty or public enlightenment, then criminal nuisance will continue.
Petty nuisances and major vandalism remain based upon a pitifully funded education and enforcement mandates from our Chicago and Illinois Legislators. This is sustained by the fear of a few more tax dollars. The top one percent continues to accumulate wealth. A few of the spoiled and outspoken prevent the wealthy from providing a fair share of their assets. In doing so, those like 'Joe the unlicensed plumber' ignorantly complain about taxes and do themselves a disservice. However, it takes more than money, it takes persistent attention.
Some locals just seem too addicted to keep the bottle in the brown bag until they get home. Those who have to drink and dribble on the walkway merit attention. Alcoholism is an addiction; addiction is an illness. Of course, there are a few who have forgotten to take their medicine, who the need attention of public mental health providers before they unreasonably assault others, as well. Yet, nothing is done to bring the resources to the neighborhoods before things get out of control.
This is why many are unimpressed with public safety meetings that simply march out the troops and the politicians. We don't need a 'dog and pony show.' The bottom line is Police need to find ways to do their jobs better. They are professionals, who should ask difficult questions. They should work with CAPs volunteers and politicians in more productive ways, not merely dictate statistics to them. The FOP needs to develop and encourage higher standards. The States Attorneys Office has resources and few Beats ever get much access.
Rational and responsible volunteers should be given a reasonable way to communicate more expedientely to those who care. Community Police reps from the 24th District need to effectively communicate with Caluris. Monday's meeting seemed like public promotion of the status quo. True, official crime is down, but the apathy that maintains our ignored and unreported crime still haunts us.