13 March 2012

Tales From the SOUTH Side...
Going to be another springlike day - highs in the mid 60s again. Going to be a wonderfully LOUD day for us.
And yes, that makes it time for another soiree into the wonderful world that is the crotch of the Summit City aka Fort Wayne.
Now, don't get me wrong here...the neighborhood (if it were totally devoid of the socially-unacceptable and transient miscreants) would be a wonderful place to live, raise a family and grow old. I wish it were only that nice.
But, as is the case whenever such human flotsam are allowed to not only move in, but "thrive" in an area like ours, does it become a lot less than it was meant to be.
With that as our preamble today, let's get cracking with what's going on in and around our "Fortress of Reason".
*** First up, another infant death on the...(all together, gang...)...SOUTHEAST SIDE of Fort Wayne.
Here's the link to the brief story:
Something you should (already) know, being a regular reader of this blog; The area where this took place is not the most amenable area on the SE side...in fact, it's one of the WORST, if the police blotter has anything to say about it. The 7900 block of Serenity Drive is rather notorious when it comes to crime...it's pretty much a fact-of-life there, if one can call such things "living".
I like to call it Eden Green SOUTH.
If you want to find a bunch of do-nothing people with no sense of responsibility, no desire to make anything of themselves, and all the time in the world to do it, while they suck up dollar after dollar of "free" money (that would be YOUR tax dollars), then, by all means, stop down there and see your government at work for YOU.
Generational dependency at it's finest, folks.
Baby-mama went down the street...with an infant she gave birth to a mere SIX weeks prior, leaving him to another baby-mama with probably the SAME level of "expertise" when it comes to CARING for such a young child.
The ONLY thing they seemed "experienced" at is MAKING the babies...well, that and causing chaos wherever they go.
How typical...and woefully unchecked.
*** Next up, the "new kids on the block" at play.
No, we're not talking about a resurgence of some boy-band (thankfully), but rather some children who recently moved into one of the vacant hovels decorating our block.
And, wouldn't you just know it...THEIR baby-mama doesn't know what TOYS are, because the two kids (and the visiting two children) spent the better part of this past weekend tearing the BARK off of a huge dead tree down the street!
I thought only animals in the wild did such things during the winter for food...?
Well, we might have the "animal" part right here.
Some of the SLABS torn off of the tree were larger than the children...(how quaint to see kids at play).
Naturally, they were not on their OWN property, but a neighboring one, and just left the mess for the person working on the other house to clean the hell up (as these creatures often seem to do).
I always say you can tell who has walked by your house, by the trail of trash (never to be confused with the Trail of Tears) they leave in their wake.
Responsible parenting?
Not hardly!
And that's why they sell things called TOYS at damn near anyplace (even dollar stores).
Such items are meant to stimulate CREATIVITY in children in some fashion...and not leave them to their own devices.
*** If you watch kids playing in "distressed" neighborhoods, you see something curious that wouldn't be readily noticed in nice areas of the city...
And that is something I like to call...AGGRESSION!
Doesn't matter how YOUNG the child is, there always seems to be some level of angry behavior.
They grab a stick, and wail the snot out of something with it...like they're practicing some form of psychological "transference" with every strike.
They grab a stone or rock, and will throw it (with focused intent) at a family pet, a squirrel or bird, or even at EACH OTHER (if not at somebody else's car or windows).
Hey, sticks and rocks kinda went out of vogue with the Cro-Magnon period, people...hate to break it to 'ya.
It's little wonder that WITHOUT the proper creative stimulation and supervision, such children become problems at a very young age, and then become criminals earlier, or at least exhibit criminal tendencies before they hit high school.
More generational dependency to deal with.
*** But then, we come to some of the results of this type of "upbringing", and that's seen in whatever passes for adulthood for these people.
I'm talking about those loud-ass drivers that feel the need to "share" their music with everyone within a 4-block radius!
It's been said that: "Music hath charm to sooth the savage breast".
Not in THIS case, folks.
It's more like: "Music (?) hath VOLUME to perpetuate the savage attitude".
Because there is no other reason to explain it...it's certainly NOT soothing and has NO redeeming "charm" attached to it...it's just f$cking louder than a passenger jet ramping up the engines for takeoff (130+ Db).
There is a curious side-effect to this loudness, and that's when the body produces endorphins as a result of such exposure, creating an artificial feeling of euphoria. Thing is, the negative effects are far worse, not the least of which is loss of hearing (what?)...and the stress on internal organs due to sympathetic vibrations. Documented are cases of elevated blood pressure, stress and symptoms that can mirror PTSD...and that's for starters.
You can look it all up for yourselves, because I've mentioned this more than a few times here, and could do a week's worth of posts on just this ONE topic (others have volumes on it, both physical and psychological in nature).
We have our share of loudasses around here...at least several THOUSAND per year drive by, and whatever is being done by the FWPD...it isn't nearly enough to stem the rising tide of noise, and that's creating issues with too many people, especially from an INDIRECT standpoint.
Think of it much like those who disdain second-hand smoke.
We have second-hand NOISE, and sadly, the EPA division that used to enforce such things hasn't been around since the late 1980s.
If there were ONE aspect of government I would LIKE to see open, it would be THEM, because we NEED it now.
*** I was going to mention how the turf at our new Parkview Field (or, as I prefer to call it - COSTAPLENTY STADIUM) is turning yellow already, and how it's going to cost even MORE ($140K) to replace or re-seed it, but I think others will drive this one to the barn, and do it much better than I could.
So, instead, we'll delve into THIS:
*** I mentioned yesterday about how MANY police officers we have in the city and where they are.
Actually, I first mentioned such things WAY back in September of '06.
I did find data from 2005 for our city regarding the number of officers we have (per 1000 residents), and back then, we were BELOW the national average of TWO officers per every 1000 people.
NYC is a little over TEN officers per 1000 people, but they also have over 8 MILLION people in the city.
And even THAT number isn't enough to HALT crime, but it has proven to be effective is lowering it significantly.
But let's deal with Fort Wayne (while we're here).
Here's a link to another blog that mentions the 2005 stats for the 200 largest municipal areas:
Clearly the representation of Ft. Wayne is dated, but it does show a disturbing trend, and one which I find right in line with the amount and level of crime on the SE side (and now branching into the other 3 quadrants).
From the Bureau of Justice Statistics comes this tidbit from 2003:
(( According to the 2003 BJS Law Enforcement and Management Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, municipal police departments employed an average of 2.5 full-time officers per 1,000 residents.
Departments serving 25,000 to 99,999 residents had the lowest average ratio (1.8 officers per 1,000 residents), followed by cities with 100,000 to 249,999 residents (1.9), and cities with 10,000 to 24,999 residents (2.0).
Cities with a population of 250,000 or more had 2.5 officers per 1,000 residents. ))
Now, if that were true, and since the population of Fort Wayne is in excess of 250K (currently), then we SHOULD have 2.5 officers per 1,000 residents.
Let's do the math, kids...
We currently have about 460 officers in the FWPD (2007 statistics).
And we have 253,691 residents (per 2010 census - probably higher knowing how some will lie their ass off).
So far, it doesn't look that good.
The 2005 stats had us around 1.87 officers per 1,000 residents. (below the nat'l average)
Given the growth of BOTH population AND officers sworn, the new totals reflect an actual LOSS of staff at 1.81 officers per 1,000 residents.
(Texas Instruments calculators don't lie at our house)
So, what does this mean?
Depends on which side of the fence you fall on.
Some would say that because crime has "gone down" we need FEWER officers on the streets.
I counter by saying that when you RECLASSIFY crimes to make it APPEAR as if crime goes down, you fool the unlearned.
If (in fact) crime DOES go down, it's because of several factors, one of which is TRENDS.
Crime has it's own neaps and ebbs, much like a river...some years are good, others horrendous, depending on variables like availability of street pharms, creative drug distribution (home-growns, one-pots, etc.), and gang activities to name a few.
Take a major "playa" off the street, and you immediately have a DROP in crime in a specific hot spot...until the next perp takes his place (power struggles like this can take a year or so, depending on who steps up).
Another variable is contraband coming from outside the state INTO the state, and many times, that becomes the realm of the FEDS. Hopefully, they can catch it before it arrives into our state.
This is a CLASSIC study of the Broken Window Theory.
Whenever small things get unnoticed, or become "lost in the shuffle" they will inexorably "evolve" with rapidity under such fertile conditions that they will soon become the BIG ticket items in town, and have the police playing "catch-up" in the process...sometimes for YEARS.
With a growing population, a growing immigrant population, and more instances of small crimes (the Opana robberies to name one), it's folly to believe we need FEWER police on our streets, unless the city thinks that having our LEOs do nothing but chase the radio every shift is getting the job done.
(got news for them...it's not)
On any given shift we have about THIRTY officers on patrol...for the WHOLE damn city.
To me, that's simply not cutting the muster, not in areas where a greater police PRESENCE is required.
Do we have a gang division? Not really.
Do we have a grafitti patrol? Not at all.
Do we have officers whose sole purpose is to PATROL...look for things "out-of'whack" in a neighborhood (preferably on the SE side) where trouble can erupt in an instant, due to the "nature of the beasts" inhabiting the area?
If we do, I'm sure not seeing them
And given the numbers of officers on the streets, I doubt I will until something goes down...or I have to call to report something "hinky".
The prefix PRO, as in PROtect should mean something, and I believe in many officers' hearts, it DOES.
To PROTECT should mean that a lot of sh*t should be "headed off at the pass" long before it arrives to endanger us all.
In that, I believe our LEOs would want to perform more of THAT in whatever capacity they find themselves.
I know I would.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


gadfly said...

Bob G:

The details on the Parkview Field grass is downright ugly. Somewhere in looking after the purchase and installation of sod at Harrison Square ballpark, the sod-seller was not asked about the types of grass attached to the dirt.

Low and behold it had bad grass which acted like golf course fairway turf after being sliced with a pitching wedge. So the sod installer is being charged $20K, the sod provider $7K, the Fort Wayne taxpayer gets clobbered with a $90K bill and Hardball Capital skates for $23K.

Seems to me that someone needs to find the exit ramp on this one. I nominate Greg Leatherman.

Momma Fargo said...

Well, Bob G.,

Your city has a lot more action in a one block radius than mine in a year. Oy.

We, too, are enjoying the great springlike weather with a touch of hurricane winds. Nuts.

Hope you can find some good tunes in the ones the neighbors or drive by vehicles are sharing with you. :) Maybe some nice, tasteful...rap music? Eminem gets everyone a little angry in the morning and goes good with coffee.

Bob G. said...


I'll tell you, I'm running out of FINGERS when it comes to WHO to point them at on this debacle.

Honestly, after three years, I;m still not convinced this was the "best" way to proceed, especially when we already had a very nice ballpark that was ONLY 13 years old that people obviously enjoyed attending.

We could have taken LESS THAN HALF of the "Costaplenty" money and upgraded the existing field...

I KNEW someone would step up to the plate (pun intended)and "splain" this for everyone (including me).
And I SECOND your nomination.

Thanks for taking the time to stop on by today and comment.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe out there.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
We have enough "stuff" going on down here that IF the city decided to pay the police a COMMISSION, they could retire EARLY...AND buy a damn ISLAND...LOL.
(there is THAT much money to be made by the city)

And I DO have a "Slim Shady" CD someone tossed on our lawn a LONG time ago..,.love the cussing on it...LOL.
(seriously, that's the ONLY way I'd come into possession of a "rap" album)

With these idiots, it's not so much the MUSIC (?) but the damn VOLUME and BASS they play it at that bugs me...can "feel" the damn crap before I even hear it outright.

They need to corral the lot of them and get them ALL to turn it down.
I like my coffee, but I don't drag a few pots of it down the street and FORCIBLY pour it down everyone's throat...kapeesh?

Hey, thanks so much for rolling on up today anhd commenting.

Stay safe out there.