Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Call to Action Escambia County

Quote from a press conference 3/10/16 after a sting in Brownsville:
"You don't have a law enforcement problem here you you've got a societal issue."

I was absolutely floored that Sir David continues to blame the community for the crime problems. In a raid of Brownsville, they arrested 12 people who had been arrested some 49 times collectively. “We are doing our jobs by arresting them. This is a community problem.”
There are so many things wrong with that thought process. First of all, arresting criminals does not deter crime. The idea is to stop the crime prior to that arrest. If patrols are out interacting with the citizens of a county in a combined effort, crime is lower.  If you are proactive in a community, you don’t have to be reactive as this Sheriff is. Has he not read anything on criminal justice?  When you see an area turned around from crime-ridden to crime-free, they universally use specific components to succeed.  As I mentioned, establish a law enforcement presence through patrolling AND working with the community. If the community does not work with police, neither will be successful. Get the deputies out in the area meeting and interacting the community.
Secondly, directed patrol in “hot spots” at “hot times”. This prevents the crime prior to arrest. It makes it harder to be a criminal if the police are constantly where they do business. The presence of this uniformly in the county results in a safer county.
Thirdly, lead from the top. A fish rots from the head down. Without strong leadership, you have ineffective policing. Morgan has shown he does not have a clue as to how to fix this mess he created. His second in command, Chief Deputy Haines, has no practical investigative or policing knowledge. He spends his time policing social media. With these two role models, there is no clear directive. It’s like kids with two parents who aren’t around, what kind of stability or discipline can the child draw on, when they never see it in practice?
Lastly, funding actual activities within the community to detour crime is supposed to be what the LET (Law Enforcement Trust) Fund is geared toward specifically.  News Flash! The people Sir David is investing in are not doing anything to detour crime. Maybe he needs to worry more about doing his job and less with getting campaign and/or private money in his pocket. Fund after-school programs, put more money into measures for neighborhood watch programs, DARE, MADD etc. But ultimately putting more money into deputies in problematic communities on a consistent basis—not just for a “sting”—will be the key to lowering crime.
These are common sense things. The head of the Sheriff’s office has been decomposing since 2009 and it’s working its way down in the form of loss of massive amounts of deputies. Some were bad apples but most were good guys who couldn’t lower themselves to the incompetence. One of the first moves is to get Haines off his ass and in the community.  He needs to know the people in the problem areas. His face should be out there with the men under him
Ultimately, the decay of society as Morgan claims is an anathema for all of us. Every state and county has the problems. Escambia is not unique. The people there aren’t bad as Morgan’s claiming. He’s outright saying YOU, THE RESIDING CITIZEN, ARE THE PROBLEM.  You didn’t raise your kids right. You didn’t do everything you could to make the community safe. That is a cop out. Society has changed, yes, but you know what? The safest county in Florida is doing something to counteract that by forward thinking law enforcement. Proactive policing, having a presence in each community. The deputies should be acquainting themselves to the people in their area. You should see them periodically through your neighborhood. You should know which deputy is in your area.
The residents can’t fix the crime; it’s on Sir David to provide a following of proactive deputies who know their jobs and do it. GET OUT OF THE CARS! Don’t wait for a crime to happen put someone in the “hot spots” patrolling. In turn that “hot spot” will move and you put people in the new location, eventually pushing outside this county. That is law enforcement. Not waiting for a robbery or murder and arresting people over and over.
To Sir David: Stop the crime before it happens. That’s what you get paid handsomely to do.  When you say it is not your problem, you are disrespecting every person breathing air in the county. You are pushing the problem onto the citizens rather than accepting the responsibility of your oath of office. Since you don’t seem to understand that, you need to get the f**k out of the seat.
The National Institute of Justice, under the Dept. of Justice says this:
Basic principles of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) include target hardening (controlling access to neighborhoods and buildings and conducting surveillance on specific areas to reduce opportunities for crime to occur) and territorial reinforcement (increasing the sense of security in settings where people live and work through activities that encourage informal control of the environment). Most community policing models include the decentralization of police services, the collaboration of police departments with other city agencies (such as parks or utility departments) to resolve problems, and regular police-citizen dialog about perceived problems
Police can:
  • Conduct security surveys for residents and provide security improvements such as adequate lighting and locks.
  • Conduct park patrols and patrols of other public spaces to eliminate crime and drug use.
  • Use their substations to inform residents of high-risk locations in the neighborhood.
  • Work with urban planners and architects to review the designs and plans in order to enhance community security.
  • Prepare educational materials for building owners and managers to deal with problem tenants and enhance the livability and security of rental units. These materials are useful because they address not only the manner in which the physical environment is designed but also how the environment can be managed more effectively to enhance public safety.
  • Control traffic flow to reduce the use of streets by criminals and enhance neighborhood cohesion and resident interaction. Streets can be closed or traffic diverted to create residential enclaves that give residents greater control of their living environment.
The development of these initiatives affects various factors such as the level of communication and cooperation among police, city staff, and residents; the type, amount, and use of community education and orientation programs; and the methods by which crime prevention programs are described, measured, and evaluated. Currently, these factors apply more to law enforcement agencies because modifying a community policing model may require changes of significant magnitude.
While the Pensacola Opera may be entertaining, it does not meet the criteria of crime prevention programs or safe neighborhoods as outlined by statute to be funded by the Sheriff’s office. Nor does NAS. They have an awesome museum but it is not up to snuff for this funding.
Proper funding of deputies and community programs would aid in reducing crime statistics. The cronyism of paying your upper echelon of do-boys while claiming there is no money for raises to deputies is wrong. Buying a ticket to the society elite with law enforcement money that should be going into making the community safer is wrong. Until people see this, nothing will change.
Since we cannot fix stupid in the Sheriff, let’s make his money people accountable. They allow him to do this with your money. Want to stop this frivolous spending? Go to the County Commissioners responsible for Morgan…that’s how you cut off his spending of Escambia dollars in return for campaign donations.  You have a voice ESCAMBIA!  Get your voice to the next meeting before it’s too late.