25 November 2008

It's the LAW...Or IS It?
I have been awaiting the WANE story about curfew laws with baited breath since I heard that they were doing it.
And reporter Drew Blair did a respectable job of scratching the surface. Now a followup or two would seem in order, especially compared to more than just Indianapolis and their curfew laws. Let's see Gary, or Vincennes, or even South Bend. Wonder how THEY measure up (or down) to US?
First off, I'm a STRICT proponent of such laws, especially in today's society.
And, as we all know boys & girls...the only reason we HAVE laws is to...
(all together now...)
"PROTECT THE LAWFUL, Bob" (thank you).
If you also said PUNISH THE LAWLESS, I will gladly accept that as well.
Let's face it...with the number of sexual predators out there today, it makes damn good sense to want to protect out kids. Also, given the fact that more parents today (than in ages past) can barely keep track of their kids as it is, curfew laws are there to act as an "adjunct" to lost parenting skills. Never thought the police would be quasi-surrogate parents, did you?
That's OK...neither did THEY.
I mean cripes, when it comes to parenting, we've got "posers" that can't figure out the whole damn "milk, bowl, cereal, spoon" gig to provide the most minimal of breakfasts for their progeny...how the hell can we expect them to care about HOW LATE their kids decide to hang out...WHERE they hang out...and even with WHOM?
And it IS the kids who decide how late is late...in too many cases.
Perfect feeding ground for these sexual predators..or worse.
Here are some (of many) "links of interest":
(North Carolina)
(Juvenile Justice Resource Center)
Indiana DOES have a curfew law...problem is, the City of Fort Wayne just doesn't want to enforce it.
Both the FWPD chief AND the Prosecutor (and you know who THEY are) cite that it really isn't "necessary", and that any illicit act that is bad enough will be dealt with as the crime it truly is.
Isn't that like not bothering about the broken latch on the gate, hoping that the horses never get wise and run the f$ck off?
I can speak from experience, that we have WAY too many teens (and preteens) roaming the streets to all hours (weather permitting), and where the hell are the "parents" during all this anyway?
I've seen neighbors' kids as recently as last week running up and down the street with NO SHIRTS ON (and the temps were just above freezing). Don't you think enforcing the curfew law might work in instances like THAT?
Then again, with no enforcement, that sends only ONE message to people in certain areas of this city; bad behavior will be rewarded (by non-intervention by the police), and brother do these people LOVE to hear that!
I would be remiss if I didn't say that the ONE quadrant of the city where enforcing a curfew law would be effective would be the SOUTH EAST quadrant. Then again, we've a "hands-off" policy in certain regards (at least that's what I've seen over the years).
In extreme cases, I've seen it take several YEARS to remove drug dealers from one house, when all that law-enforcement would need to do is make several buys over a few weeks, and perhaps monitor traffic at the house for a couple MONTHS. That "should" be plenty to slam-dunk a case into court...but NO, it's apparently not. And I think the weakest link in the whole chain is the prosecutor's office...sorry, but their track record (that I've seen for 10 years) isn't all that stellar, given the number of perps, crimes, and cases.
You guys in the courtrooms pretty much suck.
Also, when the police department is always teetering on the brink of a frivolous LAWSUIT by some "special interest" group (or individual), that will curtail good policing...simple as that. Why would certain things that occur in certain neighborhoods be overlooked (or even ignored) for YEARS then?
If the curfew is considered a relatively "unenforceable" law (in the city), then we must add others to this list, such as the NOISE ordinance...or the LITTERING laws, or the CURB YOUR DOG laws, or the PUBLIC URINATION laws, or even the improperly illuminated vehicle and darkly tinted windows laws, because THEY sure aren't being enforced either.
It's like the BROKEN WINDOW THEORY, only with a twist; we're ignoring all the windows here in the Summit City, no matter HOW MANY get broken. We're not all that concerned about the "small $hit" like curfews...
Funny thing is, if the economy gets much WORSE, I suppose the city admins will tell the FWPD to cut back and stop targeting misdemeanor crimes altogether, and focus ONLY on FELONIES. Yeah, that's anarchy in the making for sure.
(Note to self: buy a lot more ammo)
The problem we have HERE in Fort Wayne is the reluctance of the city to become a "bother" to people who thumb their nose at ANY type of law or it's enforcement...period. Screw your "tradition" I say, and start making the laws that were obviously written FOR A REASON work for EVERYONE.
And that means holding the lawless to the exact same standards the lawful abide by.
NO exceptions...and NO excuses!
It's a STATE LAW...and like any type of (political) BS..it SHOULD flow DOWNHILL (i.e to the city and local level). No city should arbitrarily say to the state that "We're not gonna enforce the law YOU mandated, because we don't believe it's enforceable". That truly IS...BS!
If people cannot rein in their kids at a proper hour, then maybe they should seriously reconsider the nomenclature of PARENT in the first place.
Or maybe you'd rather have your kid drunk, high, mugged, shot, raped, or killed...ALL BECAUSE you didn't crack down and make sure they were home at a decent hour? You can then thank both the ACLU as well as the ICLU for helping in so small measure as well. THEY don't give a damn about your kid's SAFETY...only their "rights", which fall under a parent's jurisdiction anyway (until they move out), correct?
We've already seen that adults can be very irresponsible....oh, brother have we EVER.
And we've also seen that kids like to emulate their parents, so...
We've got a generation or two (perhaps more) that have little regard for personal responsibility, personal safety, and adherence to rules, guidelines or laws. We've got a bunch of hedonists growing up.
Oh yeah, that's EXACTLY who I want to have running MY country in a decade or so.
These laws CAN be enforced...and without "special funding" as our illustrious (?) prosecutor has stated. Just have those on third out keep an eye out for groups of kids with nothing to do roaming about...can't be THAT damn hard.
Hell, you probably could secure some FEDERAL grant to cover some of it...they LOVE to bail people out as it is.
Grab a bucket, quit yer bitchin', and start bailin', I say.
The last thing any real parent would want to get is a visit or call from the police or hospital saying their child was involved in some heinous criminal act...and may not make it through the night. That has a nasty way of ruining your evening REAL fast.
And judging by the emails that WANE received this morning, the vast majority of people feel we NEED the curfew law in Fort Wayne.
Amazing, yes?
Damn shame the CITY can't SEE that, eh?
I do have the name of a damn good OPTOMETRIST...in case they're interested.

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