14 April 2014

Monday Musings...
Welcome to another week, sure to test the limits of adaptability when it comes to the weather.
We're starting off today with some clouds and some rain...but that/'s going to change.
The clouds will give way to higher overcast with maybe a peek or two from the sun (if we're lucky).
The high today is whatever it is outside this morning, as it'll be getting colder as the day progresses.
And yes, Winter has one more round left in the magazine, as we're expected to get possibly an INCH of SNOW later tonight into tomorrow morning.
Goes to show that the Hoosierland is one crazy-ass place when it comes to meteorological events.
In any event, we're not going to let that deter us from finding out what's going on , so pour another cup of your favorite morning beverage-of-choice, and let's begin the journey for today...
*** Well, no one got SHOT in Fort Wayne...for a change.
And only one topic I want to nail down a bit tighter, so bear with me.
There was this one column in the OP-ED section of yesterday's J-G (Perspective section).
Here's the story link:
And this is considered a GOOD day!
Now, the title of the column MIGHT be a bit misleading...
"Cooperation Helping Keep Streets Safe".
I agree that cooperation with law-enforcement is a BIG DEAL when it comes to helping THEM protect US.
But the most recent shooting in Ft. Wayne was because "someone snitched", and that tends to defeat those efforts by police to enlist the help of the citizenry.
Some place a LOT more than others, but YASUREYOUBETCHA!
It's like the old adage "Snitches Get Stitches"...those impromptu cases of "lead poisoning".
Cooperation is a part of the puzzle, but this nosedive in homicides is DIRECTLY attributable to the FRIGID weather we've had for the better part of the first couple months this year.
If you're talking about OTHER crimes like burglaries, robberies, assaults and such, THOSE are in full vigor around town...it's just that all of THEM aren't as "news-worthy", although they affect whoever becomes the victim JUST as readily.
The column goes on to praise the efforts of this "new" gang unit, and I came to a screeching stop at that point.
And I got my best "Mr. Peabody" persona out for this one.
Afterwards, could you take me for a walk, Sherman?
Let's set the WAY-BACK machine to...oh, let's say APRIL of 2008...a good SIX YEARS AGO.
And the place will be the NEWS-SENTINEL, where an article was written there by one Evan Goodenow.
Here's the link for THAT (seemingly forgotten) story:
Wow...back in 2008, there WAS a "concerted effort" to deal with LOCAL GANGS.
Wasn't my fault...much.
And the FWPD had a newly-created "gang-unit" consisting of FIVE FWPD officers and TWO BATFE agents.
So, what happened there?
Nothing got any better...only worse, especially where homicides were concerned.
Of course, there were also some inconsistencies when it came to the NUMBER of gangs we had in the city (at THAT time).
(then) Chief York said it was FOUR.
Bob Rinearson (former FWCS safety supervisor) stated it was FIFTEEN.
Bob Rinearson
The column IS a very good read, and Rinearson's take is nothing short of brilliant.
HE called it "organized crime"...and I have to agree.
"The longer we allow it to go, the'll only get stronger", he said, and damn if he wasn't right.
Neil Moore
Former FWPD chief Neil Moore weighed in as well by stating: "When you have a SUBCULTURE (my emphasis) of violence and gang activity in a city, it doesn't go away".
And all this was spoken SIX...YEARS...AGO...!
But wait, we're not quite finished yet, kids.
In ANOTHER (followup) article, again published by the News-Sentinel in MAY of 2008, there was more.
And here's the link to THAT article:
Here, we see yet another "number" when it comes to active gangs in Fort Wayne.
Off. John Chambers
FWPD Officer John Chambers states that police have documented FIFTY THREE gangs in the city.
That's a far cry from those numbers in the article one month prior, and a crapload more than York's figure.
(fuzzy math, perhaps???)
Of those 53 gangs, there were 20-30 that were "active". That's still a jump in the numbers, but not that far off from RInearson's number.
Now, we've have a good, solid SIX years since then, so do any of us REALLY think the problem din, in fact..."go away"?
Look to the stats from 2013 for the short answer, friends.
(yes...it IS no)
So, the city spent money to (re)create a NEW (new) "gang unit" with TWELVE members, with most being gleaned from county, state and federal agencies, and we also (re)created the position of Public Safety Director and tossed about $100K in HIS direction FOR his "direction", all the while, replacing the FWPD "capo" position with a black man in the hopes of better "reaching" the populace, of which 27% are black, with the majority of that minority concentrated on the (where else?) SOUTHEAST SIDE, where we also have a black quadrant commander as well.
Thank the WEATHER!
I've said time and again, that having 100% black officers doesn't mean jacksh*t down here, because these gang members traditionally (in a heartbeat) will turn on "their own", and a uniform, shield and gun doesn't make it better when it comes to respect in that matter.
I have never come across a case where having a black police chief and black officers in black communities did any more good than what departments used to have, except that more black officers were found to be conducting illicit activity under the guise of being a law-enforcement officer (ease of acquisition of things in the 'hood" like drugs, "trim", shakedown money, and so on)
It's a vicious trap, and any department has to be REAL careful here.
Yet, these two articles clearly show that this city HAD a viable unit to deal with gangs...and apparently didn't do all that well, because if they DID make some good collars, the perps got out way too soon, or (worst-case scenario) more thugs came HERE from other cities to "open up shop" as it were, and take the helm of whatever gang they represented.
We be "GOOD" boys - Dboyz
There is ALWAYS some there to fill whatever position becomes "vacant", and many times, these perps STILL conduct business from JAIL, so when they do get out, things are right where they left it.
I'd have to agree with Rinearson, that such IS organized crime...only the race has changed and the methodologies.
This is all an aside from the Hispanic contingent and the gangs THEY have in THEIR communities.
Some cities have this racial component attached to gang activity...where the Hispanics want to take back "their" territory from the black gangsters.
But few are really forthcoming with calling such things "race wars",which in fact, they are.
Naturally, everyone else other than those races get caught in whatever crossfire erupts, both literally and figuratively.
Maybe some of us simply DON'T WANT THIS CRAP AROUND US.
So, after much outcry, our city "reinvents" the wheel, by basically doing what they INITIALLY did 6 years ago, in the hope that this time, doing the same thing will result in a different outcome.
I think Einstein had a word for that.
Only crazy people are insane...and cannot go faster than,light.
INSANITY...yeah, that's the word.
Have to roll with Albert on this one.
*** Last back to the barn today, we're all familiar with the phrase about "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again", but there comes a time when a DIFFERENT APPROACH is warranted.
Never ending - kinda like INFINITE.
All this city has done in six years (of rising criminal activity) is come back to the beginning of the moebius strip...back to "square one" it would appear.
How much (taxpayer) money and resources have been squandered in that time?
And if we had 20-30 active gangs back THEN, how many MORE do we "enjoy" NOW?
Why weren't such gangs as PAC(722) disbanded when that first gang unit was created?
It would seem that not ONE of the local gangs have gone away. Some do get quiet for a while, but they always mange to regroup and come back like the proverbial "bad penny".
So...the city gives in to it's own brand of insanity and tries the same thing over again, when a stronger method to eradicate these gangs is clearly needed, especially when this city touts all of it's diversity with such sects as the refugee Burmese (and yes, they have criminals too, probably living in our community).
When people choose to have a meth lab on the block rather than black or Hispanic gang members, that's got to tell you something about the violence that accompany such "culture" (there's that dreaded "C"-word again).
We ALL need to make better choices, AND be allowed the opportunity to have better choices available, because the future of this city...or any city rests in the balance for us, and our progeny.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


John DuMond said...

If there's anything I've learned about the news media from watching their reporting of crime stories, it's that most reporters don't understand how to establish cause and effect. They point to the one variable they care about -- in this case, the new anti-gang unit -- and say, "See, it's working." No inquiry as to whether other variables (the weather, incarceration rates, etc) might have some effect on the situation.

Our local rag pulled the same BS today in an editorial about the state's new gun law. It claimed the 1994 assault weapons ban lowered the rate of "gunviolence." In truth, all crime rates dropped after the ban, and have continued to drop in the ten years since the sunset of the law. But hey, why let the facts confuse things, right?

CWMartin said...

I still say, "I wonder if it was a stoolie with a loose mouth... or is somebody on the task force in bed with a gang or two?" And frankly, I'd think a snitch would have better things to do than expose his snitch-hood.

But this is Ft Wayne, where you check your brain at the city limits...

Bob G. said...

JOhn D.:
Yeah, you nailed it.
I would call them "what passes for reporters" these days.
I feel that really GOOD, INVESTIGATIBVE reporting is a hard needle to find in the media haystack.
They never ask the questions that people like "us" find SO damn obvious.
But it's easy enough FOR us TO find such answers.
(maybe we should be reporters?)

There are those that believe that American DOES suffer form a collective form of ADHD...very poor attention span, and I have to concur.
The FACT that people can't (or won't) recall things from several years prior bears THAT much out, doeesn't it?

Hey, thanks for rolling up today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

Bob G. said...

If you check your brain at the CITY LIMITS (and we know of at least FOUR people in both our abodes that don't fit that suit)...wonder what ELSE they "check" at City Hall to make it that bad?
(their "man-bits"?)
That would explain why they haven't grown a pair yet.

If someone "sang" for the 5-0, it might have been only because they were "promised" monetary compensation OR some sort of "immunity".
Sometimes, the feds canm "flip" them for someone higher up the "food chain".
But there is never a guarantee there, either.

THanks for taking time to stop by today and comment.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe up there.