Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bike Patrols Ticket 12 Nuisance Crimes on First Night in the WW

The bike patrols are already at work, taking our suggestions to ticket for nuisance crimes. They are running saturation patrols and ticketing for double-parking, playing music too loud, public drunkenness, and disorderly conduct among other things, and these stops have also led to some arrests for drug possession:

Express Times Article on Bike Patrol Busts for Nuisance Crimes in the West Ward

Please thank the officers whenever you see them--these are hot summer days to be biking up and down our neighborhood's hills!


DRL said...

Based on a good portion of the reader comments accompanying the E-T story on bike patrols, it exposes part of the problem we have in this neighborhood: too many morons with access to computers and too much time on their hands. I don't use the term moron lightly. Name calling and uninformed policy bashing help nothing. We need to use rhetoric with some level of responsibility towards a better future.

These "readers" hide behind their stupid on-line identities while they rail against the cops. Put your damn name on it if you have any guts. This is not a simple-minded or one-sided issue. I have been more critical of the police than most people but for completely different reasons. If these comments are any indication then the cops are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Of course we have gang shootings and other serious crime issues but objective people realize that Easton's "major crimes" rate is relatively low. They certainly effect the city's reputation but physically they effect few of us directly and pale in comparison to the quality of life disruptions that occur every single day and effect every single citizen. These quality of life issues - like double parked vehicles with the stereos blaring - are more than nuisances; they are direct attempts by these thugs to intimidate whole neighborhoods into inaction.

If you want to see REAL serious crimes increase, keep ignoring these minor ones. Those who characterize efforts to crack down on them as trivial or a waste of tax dollars have missed the point. A bike officer, moving clandestinely through the neighborhood, can create enough chaos and insecurity in the minds of these thugs to drastically curtail their activities. Any cop abandoning his comfort zone (the patrol car) for this duty is to be commended. It is about time the police force acknowledged the value in this program and I for one am glad its happening.

When the cops are doing something stupid or treating the responsible citizens like the criminals I'll be the first to hammer them. The bike patrols are a classic example: when they were discontinued years ago, I asked chief Palmer in an open meeting, why. He told me it was because it took extensive training (it does - try apprehending a criminal on one) and no one had "volunteered" to participate. I followed up that question with another, clarifying the fact that the police department could no longer make anyone take bike patrol because the union rules allowed individuals to decide whether they wanted to participate or not. Thank God we now have enough enlightened officers to realize the value of this program.

The Broken Windows Theory is now well enough embedded in our consciousness that I won't go into a dissertation on it. Enough to say that as we crack down on the nuisance issues we will see a decrease in the major ones as those involved in neighborhood intimidation get squeezed out of their comfort that we can get back into ours.

Dennis R. Lieb

rockybwinkle said...

It's cool that the police are spending time on nuisance crimes. They really speak to the quality of life. Here on the Miller corner of Ferry and Walnut, bone-jarring music is shaking our brick house.

I used to find it interesting that neighborhoods in Newark, N.J., are often quieter than our own, until one day I was walking down Bank Street in Newark and heard a guy blaring his car radio. A cop standing on the corner just looked at the driver and shook his head. That radio went down to a reasonable level instantly.

And it's definitely an intimidation factor. I've been outside more than once when a "banger" has pulled up to our house and stopped at the light, looked at me, and changed the song he was playing to one with really scary lyrics (from a woman's point of view). And every time, the radio would get turned up while the guy stared in my direction. Thankfully, I'm not intimidated easily.

Anyway, this is good news. Thanks to officers who volunteered for this duty and have decided to get out of the cars and work with residents.

noel jones said...

you both make good points. the next step in community policing would be officers being assigned to beats and actually getting to know the residents and kids that live on each block so they know who belongs there and who is suspicious, but i'm very happy about this first step. i have heard that officers (not just in easton, but in other american cities as well) who don't like the idea of community policing refer to it as "hug a thug" but that presumes that everyone in the neighborhood is a thug. i'm glad we have a new batch of more enlightened officers that volunteered for the bike patrol training--that is seriously hard physical work. hopefully, as they get to know the neighborhood, and get good tips from neighbors on the watch, they will begin to see the value in getting to know residents.