advertisement

GENE ROBERTSON: Knee-jerk solutions don't work

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | 12:00 p.m. CDT; updated 11:31 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recently, the police department was deemed inadequate to address the public safety and criminal issues in the city. The mayor proposed a tax increase to increase the size of the police department.

Simultaneously the city created an anti-violence commission to study, discuss and recommend actions to address the city’s violence problem. Among the membership of the committee are several black males, including an ex-police officer and a few councilpersons.

The committee’s composition appears deliberate on one hand, i.e., the large number of black males infers that violence is largely a black male problem rather than a citywide problem. The absence of the councilperson whose ward is reputed to be the most affected by the reputed violence and the reputed offenders is baffling.

An anti-violence committee may be a far better early step than an arbitrary increase in police officers at the taxpayers expense. Far more thought has to be given to the purpose, composition, duration and potential outcome. The present composition needs to be modified to include a much more significant and broader array of stakeholders.

Perhaps one outcome of such a committee might be recommendations regarding the police department, its size, behaviors, training etc. There is absolutely no reason to increase the size of the police department without the deliberations of a committee.

Certainly the city should not take these steps simultaneously. First things ought to be first.

William E. "Gene" Robertson is a Columbia resident and a professor emeritus at MU.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Jimmy Bearfield August 14, 2013 | 2:31 p.m.

"The absence of the councilperson whose ward is reputed to be the most affected by the reputed violence and the reputed offenders is baffling."

No, what's baffling is why anyone would think that a councilperson should be on a commission that was created to advise the council.

(Report Comment)
Skip Yates August 15, 2013 | 4:16 a.m.

..."the large number of black males infers...." A typical viewpoint from this writer. If there were no black males, he'd also have a complaint.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements