Sunday, March 06, 2005

Book 'em Danno

Is it just my imagination, or is Tulsa Oklahoma now a dangerous place to live? It seems like every night there is either another murder, rape or assault that leads the local newscast. It wasn't always so.

Some will blame the police and the inadequate funding that has lead to a severely under staffing situation. For that I blame our city administration, since public safety is job #1.

How ironic it is for such crime to occur in the buckle of the bible belt! I guess a church on every corner is not a panacea for crime.

Some will no doubt also blame the criminals "situation", i.e. they are poor so they commit crime, they are underprivileged so they commit crime, they are (black, hispanic, you fill in the blank) so they commit crime. But I subscibe to the idea that criminals are who they are because they choose to commit crime. It may well be that the punishment no longer fits the crime and so it does not serve as a deterrent.

At my neighborhood, the crimes are still rather petty, but nonetheless crime and inconvenient. Lots of radios and stereo equipment stolen from cars parked outside, along with smashed windows and broken steering columns. I suspect very little of it gets reported, understating the real rates of crime in this city. And what city who is trying desperately to change its image to outsiders likes to trumpet its crime statistics. But it may very well be that crime is at least something that we lead the country in.

As you can tell from my other postings, I am most concerned with what is rather basic to city dwellers. What should be at least what is important to us and our quality of life.

I say forget so much about downtown or Cherry Street or Brookside and focus on adding more police and fire protection. Fix or widen these narrow streets that should have been done years ago. An give our police what they need to arrest and keep these criminals off of our streets!

Or as Steve McGarrett used to say in Hawaii 5-O, "Book 'em, Danno!"

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