Where are the Answers to Stop Urban Violence?

A question.

OK. Several questions. But the big question, the point of this post, is where are the answers to stop urban violence?

I ask this because we can all agree that street violence is, and has been, off the hook for some time now. That we know. Even despite the gazillion theories about why it exists, the finger pointing that never stops and much worse the countless intentional distractions that exists to keep the problem out of focus.

At the root of the issue, however, are some indisputable facts. The victims are real, as well as their families. True some are not perfect. Many may very well be living in such a way that they have increased the risk of becoming a victim of violent crime, however, they are real, and they are human. The sounds of the violence rolls out of the inner city like thunder in the mountains, making everyone that the media touches feel a little less safer, very far from the epicenter.

For police, its closer.  It’s closer for those that work the beats where the problem is at it’s worst. It’s closer when the entire burden to curb the violence is laid on the shoulders of the police agency and again, on the shoulders of the officers that work those beats. It’s closer for the LEOs that end up having to use force in that battle and are ridiculed for doing so. It’s closer for the entire industry once that demonizing starts because everyone that wears the badge, wears that scrutiny and harassment.

So the question of where those answers are to bring the body count down is important to everyone.  Where are those answers?

Even today we raise our hand against our brother…We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.

Pope Francis

Does Community Oriented Policing have depth and meaning? It’s been around for years; has it progressed? What does it look like when it makes gains? Are there sacrifices that have to made by one or both sides?

Is the policing industry coming to the solution table with an open mind?  And by the same token, is the community?  How do we close the gap between the police and the community? Are all of the principles taking accountability for the responsibilities and consequences they own? That takes guts, for everyone.

Where are the community leaders, formal and informal? The judges; are they looking out for the public’s best interesting by giving laws teeth and definition? Or are they gambling with the safety of the community on a whim? Whim might be putting it nicely. Think about how many existing gun laws are broken every time one of the many shootings take place and how many suspects should have been in custody, where they could cause no harm.

The people in the hardest hit neighborhoods, are they at the table? Are they cooperating with the police? If not, why not? For those that want to help, are there opportunities to provide information safely? Are the police ignoring the loud negative voices and listening to them to acknowledging the fact they want a better life?

Where have all these moral compasses gone so crazy? The youngest of the violent crowd have no regard at all for life, including their own. That is an area that the police cannot impact.

This issue is not and never has been a police issue, it is a community issue. Everyone rolls up their sleeves, everyone gets dirty.

What suggestions can you offer for any of these issues?


© 2015 DAVID A. LYONS

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