Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Could Foot Patrols Have Prevented Murder?

A main argument for filling the vacancies in the police department goes like this:

-More officers = more foot patrols in neighborhoods.
-More neighborhood policing = officers knowing who lives in said communities.
-Knowing the residents of a neighborhood = better identification of unwanted outsiders.

As reported, both the shooter and victim in Annapolis' most recent homicide lived outside of the community where it took place:

It was the third shooting there since July - and all of them involved people from outside the neighborhood.

So, what do the residents think?

"In all these shootings we've been having, the people don't live here. We're sick of it," said Carol Dessasau, president of the tenant council.

She said the complex has a 10 p.m. curfew and private security officers. She wouldn't mind requiring ID cards and car stickers to identify legitimate residents. Checking identification after hours could screen outsiders and prevent unwanted visitors, she said.

She'd also like more police patrols and to start up a neighborhood watch.

And what does the mayor think?

The Annapolis Police Department currently maintains a ratio of 3 officers per 1000 residents. The national average is 1 officer per 1000 residents.

As someone once said: "We report, you decide."

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