David Blaska called me out on the public safety issue: Progs handcuff, then scapegoat Madison Police Chief Wray. I was going to leave a comment on his blog, but IB Madison has a separate sign on system (to keep the riff raff out probably) and I didn’t want to create yet another online account. Plus, Mr. Blaska’s article merits a longer response I think.
He does have a point when he says liberals/lefties/progressives don’t talk about crime:
But it is a sign of progress that Madison liberals are at least beginning to talk about crime. That will happen when the shootings and muggings move from Northport in the northeast part of town and Meadowood in the southwest to the 500-600 blocks of University Avenue.
I have no idea why this is. It seems like the surrender wing of the Democratic party has been ascendant at the national level, so maybe that’s part of it. But why concede this issue to the conservatives? (This is not true of this blog, some public safety posts by me: Okay, That’s Too Lenient, He Probably Won’t Try to Sexually Assault and Murder Anyone Else, Middleton Crime Statistics, Fitchburg Safety Roundup)
Let’s see the highlights of what conservatives have to offer for public safety and see if you can come up with anything better:
We need a citizenry unafraid to establish boundaries and enforce them; we have never ceded ultimate responsibility for the protection of our property, lives, and peace of mind to third parties.
This is a long way of saying of giving guns to everyone, removing reasonable restrictions on use and licensing, and hoping for the best. Or the Kenneth Roop method of public safety: Florida man kills door-to-door salesman: I’ll kill anybody that steps on my property
Feel safer? And if you’re a police officer investigating a routine noise complaint or some other seemingly minor incident want to confront someone like this?
2. Impose conservative values on everyone. You might laugh a bit at Mr. Blaska saying that union busting will somehow reduce crime rates, but this is part of the conservative playbook. Point at a crisis (or manufacture one, see the build up to the Iraq war), and then offer a conservative policy position as a solution. Sure, the conservative policy position might not actually solve the crisis, but it is a solution. People like solutions.
A short version of Mr. Blaska’s point:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here: Madison cannot get a handle on crime until it solves its Progressive-Liberal problem.
3. Harass black people:
When University Avenue and State Street bars like Johnny O’s required state IDs before admittance (Chicago gang bangers not welcome), they were pilloried as racist.
This wasn’t a policy about IDs…check this: African Americans not allowed? Madison bars go too far in keeping out a ‘bad element’
Furthermore, lest you think that profiling works, it doesn’t (to say nothing of the great potential for injustice). Here is an example of an especially ridiculous case of wasted resources on profiling: NYPD: Spying on Muslims yielded no leads or cases
In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department’s secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.
The Demographics Unit is at the heart of a police spying program, built with help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames.
As for specific policies, I’ll have more on that later, although I do think a significant part of policing isn’t exactly political but more technical in nature. For example, there shouldn’t be anything political about removing threatening gang graffiti (and recording and cataloging it. Side note: for citizens, it’s the four Rs: Read, Record, Report, Remove). It comes down to how well a police department is run. And guess who is in charge of the police department? Which brings me back to my original point about Madison’s police chief…
Categories: | Madison | Media | Public Safety