Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oakland, CA and Portland - sister, maybe even twins, cities

The two cities can be said to have more similarities than differences. This is especially accurate when the city's approach to crime is the discussion point. "Their lack of conviction and determination and their inability to act in a timely manner have opened the floodgates to crime in Oakland." [Oakland officials drop ball on crime]. Sound familiar? The difference between the cities is the relative openness of the floodgates.

How about this. "Instead of providing crime scene technicians needed to lift fingerprints and search for evidence, some city [Oakland] leaders seek solutions in youth and cutting-edge violence reduction plans like Operation Ceasefire, which calls for meetings with people recognized as street leaders - and demands they cease illegal activities or face prosecution for a known crime."

And. "What some Oakland city officials fail to comprehend is that programs like Operation Ceasefire won't work so long as there's minimal risk of being arrested, let alone convicted, for a crime in Oakland. The city's inability to maintain an adequately staffed Police Department, its lack of foresight to compensate for attrition and its misguided obsession with nonpunitive anticrime programs have only exacerbated a problem that in any other city would be described as a crisis."

Granted Portland doesn't have the severity of crime issues like Oakland's homicides, but even a casual peek at the crime reports often, not always, found in the local news media leads one to believe that Portland has serious gang, and associated, problems. [See my post on the trending uptick.]

The cities have a fairy-land vision of crime control and prevention.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that link, Larry.

    You hear a lot about the prison-industrial complex. There is also a criminal-social service complex: professionals who make money off of the latest behavioral fad that is supposed to cure violent behavior. Gov. Kitzhaber’s Commission on Public Safety has been playing with this notion in hopes of saving money by reducing incarceration.

    Considering that Oregon doesn’t even send most convicted felons to prison, I don’t know which felons the governor is going to cut loose. Some social service professionals have appeared before the commission offering their programs, and no doubt expecting to make some money.

    Oakland is a good example of what happens when there are no consequences.