Date: Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:37 am
Subject: Re: Crime in Prince George's - Criticism or Solutions
I have lived in over 20 communities across the country with a wide range of cultural, economic and social differences. One thing is consistent. A good community or jurisdiction is one in which all stakeholders work together to identify and work toward real solutions that will have a mutual benefit for all. However, if we spend a lot of energy placing blame and acting defensive, we often miss opportunities to find solutions.
A couple of day's ago, a news headline read, "County Executive Says Crime Will Not Be Tolerated In County". Shortly after, I read a response --"All talk, No results!"
I found both statements both troubling and conflicting, because one could successfully argue each as accurate depending on your point of view, experience and/or environment.
However, from my perspective, it does not address or solve the root issues affecting many of communities and businesses county wide regardless of the demographics or economics.
Here are a couple of troubling examples:
A block from my house in a high density community, between the hours of 4-7 AM, a couple of folks decided to break out two or more windows of several vehicles, remove some items and/or steal vehicles.
The residents and owners nearest the vehicles had to hear the large number of broken windows within feet of their homes, but not one from those residents called, heard and/or reported the multiple incidents to the police! This was done by an aware resident who resided a block away . Fortunately, the police responded quickly and reportedly retrieved a stolen vehicle, property and at least one suspect.
This happens all the time not just in my community, but across the county and region.
The result in many cases are that the message is to continue doing what they are doing. Make Prince George's County known for having an open door policy for vehicle vandalism, theft, assaults and murder. Interestingly, many of these folks do not live in our county or did not originally reside in our county.
Just as important, many of our residents and your neighbors, see and hear about incidents, but do not report them.
Law Enforcement continuously tells community groups when they speak to them about Community Safety and Crime Prevention to contact them IMMEDIATELY, every time you see or hear something that is suspicious.
Similar occurrences are happening in our businesses. Many of us say that we want more and higher quality Retail, Restaurants and other services, but how do we treat the ones that exist?
They are in business to make a profit, so they can continue to provide services, pay their employees, etc. However, it is a two-way street. If you expect respect from them, you must treat them with respect by not trashing their property, disrespecting their staff and/or damaging their goods.
If you are aware of theft or other crime problems at a business or a business property, work with community association, the businesses, elected and public officials to define the root causes that will lead to realistic mutual solutions.
If you notice inappropriate or unattractive loitering or behavior around businesses or other institutions report it and work with the owners.
If it is a community that has significant needs for certain public services (Health, Social, Recreation, etc.) for particular populations, work with your community, public and elected officials to address these issues.
By the way, do you know what your kid did today?
I wise man once said, "It is better to understand, that to be understood".
These thoughts are simply points of view subject to changes, are not positions, nor are they associated with any specific organization, group or public body.
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