The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Monday, January 30, 2006

When You Want The Benefits, But Don't Want To Pay For Them

We come to find out in yesterday's Express-News that some of the alternative measures being thrown around City Hall right now to help keep crime under control are the same measures that would've been taken care of under the proposed Crime Control and Prevention District that failed overwhelmingly last November:

Other council members said they'd look first at the Police Department's operations to find ways to make it more efficient.

District 4 Councilman Richard Perez wants to see whether civilians could do more, freeing officers for patrol work.

"Is it necessary to have officers, for instance, running our impoundment lot that we have out on Growden Road?" Perez asked.

And District 2 Councilwoman Sheila McNeil said neighborhoods also could work better with the police they've got.

"We need to become better educated in how to use the resources we have, first," McNeil said. "We should tell the people where to call, and how to call, and when to call the police."

That kind of community interface would have been a main focus of the district, with broader training, nonprofit funding and other things that reduce crime in the long run, said Michael Gilbert, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Of course, this all got lost in the screaming over polo shirts and a handful of new officers the district would have also funded.