Given 2016’s unprecedented local gun violence, what it will take to break the cycle? Many believe having more officers on the streets would bring more of the perpetrators to justice.
That certainly couldn’t hurt. But extra officers can’t change the fact that many of those responsible for the carnage already have been brought to justice -- in some cases, numerous times.
So far, 37 of those arrested in connection with this year’s shootings already had felony convictions on their records. That means nearly one third of those responsible for this year’s murders had already been taken off the streets at least once, but were allowed – through parole, early release or some other version of leniency – right back on the streets to pick up where they’d left off.
This has to be tremendously frustrating to the officers who arrested them in the first place. The people demand a “get tough on crime” policy and you give it to them, only to see your work undone by the court system? No wonder morale on the force is low.
I know jail overcrowding is a serious problem that pretty much necessitates early release for some prisoners. But our judges should do a much better job of identifying those who simply can’t be trusted with freedom. Otherwise, the revolving door will just keep spinning.
Call and share your thoughts.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.