Solutions causing problems: "Come on, LET us search your house"

Another commemorative moment for the rising homicide toll, and an announcement from Lynn and Sylvester:

The police will increase their efforts to get illegal guns off the streets by relying on citizens to let the police into their homes to search for them.

I don't think I am opposed to a 'throwing initiatives to the wall to see what will stick' approach to the gun violence problem. And doing something is doing something.

...And I'll admit that this plan is sort of the opposite of stop-and-frisk, so by rights I shouldn't be allowed to complain. It's like the Antioch approach to sex applied to police investigation.

However, it's hard not to read this kind of article on that kind of day and not be the plaintive person (always criticizing, never proposing) that Sam hates. So, I can't help myself: this is what they come up with? Really?

Stepping back and minute and granting some benefit of all my doubts, there's a way you can look at this plan as helping to increase citizen collaboration with the police. That'd be a good thing. A big part of the persistent violence and low conviction rates is a deep rift between the police and the scared residents of the worst crime-plagued areas. They often see policing as ineffective and not serving them when and where they need it. So working together, that sounds good.

But...a little problem:

Those inviting police into their homes to search for illegal guns also should not expect officers to look the other way if evidence of illegal activity - including drugs - is present, [Abraham] said.

The police won't charge people for possessing the illegal guns themselves. Which is good, since that would sort of derail the plan to get people to ask the police in to search for them, except as for the really dumb. And the police will, quite sensibly, not extend that protection if it turns out the gun was used in a murder. But not limiting the police's entry to the reclamation of the guns we're looking for: recipe for another press-conference-distraction of an initiative that doesn't even in theory hold much promise of affecting the rate of shootings and murders.

Given the lack of trust of

Given the lack of trust of the police in many communities in Philadelphia, I highly doubt anyone would volunteer for such a program.

But, Jennifer is right, this is what they think of? It has taken a year and a half of people getting killed in amazing numbers to think of this. I liked it better when Johnson was doing nothing--at least we didn't have to realize how ridiculous he was.

I am working to elect Larry Farnese to the General Assembly. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this and every comment or blog I post on YPP and any action I take hereon is solely attributable to me and not Farnese or Friends of Farnese

Parolees and probationers

Parolees and probationers have a significantly diminished expectation of privacy. I believe I wrote about this before, it is perfectly legal for these officers to search their persons or homes for contraband if there is just a small suspiscion of its presence. It is like this because they are still technically serving their sentence.

This is a population that must be targeted by two things: (1) job training and education, so they do not walk back into a life of crime (along with employer incentive for their hire; (2) strict enforcement of the terms of probation or parole. Many of the gun crimes being committed are done by repeat offenders. It makes sense when you have the ability to go after this population under the law, to do it. But, enforcement alone will not work.

I am working to elect Larry Farnese to the General Assembly. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this and every comment or blog I post on YPP and any action I take hereon is solely attributable to me and not Farnese or Friends of Farnese

Too little too late

Once again, Lynne Abraham offers too little too late. What a novel idea to end the bloodshed that has torn apart our city and destroyed the next generation of young black men. "If you suspect there is an illegal gun in your home, invite us in, and if we find other stuff...we will arrest you for that." I am no 2nd ammendment expert, but if I am wrong let me know, but you are allowed to have guns in your home. With few exceptions all guns are legal if in your residence.

Abraham said Seth Williams was wrong to point out she had almost 20 people in her office investigating and prosecuting insurance fraud (paid by the insurance companies) and 5 prosecuting welfare fraud, yet while leading the country in gun deaths she had ZERO going after illegal gun dealers. She then creates a smaller version of her opponents idea, then adds this twist. Thanks Lynne. I hope you run again.

Who is to blame-- Johnson or Abraham?

There is a lengthly article in today's Inquirer that sort of examines Johnson's career and gives him mixed reviews due to the murder epedemic. You can read it here. Why is Johnson shouldering so much of the blame but Lynne Abraham is getting off scott free?

Think about it. Abraham is Philadelphia's top law enforcement offical. There is only so much that the police can do to keep criminals off the streets. Given that something like 60% of the crimes are committed by 5% of the population, it seems that our criminal justice system is absolutely failing to reform people in prison or on parole.

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Blame?

There is so much blame to go round in Philly, we really need to start at the top.

Mayor Street is Comm. Johnson's boss. He directs the law enforcement policy of this city.

But, we need to look at the bottom too. Let's not forget to place the blame on the people who have killed 200 folks in Philly! That is where the blame lies. I am irrate right now because we sit here talking about blame, but do not even bother to temper it with an ounce of personal responsibility. 200 murders were committed so far this year because people took the step of firing a gun, or thrusting a knife, or setting fire to a home.

No matter how lazy I think they are, John Street and Johnson are not killing anyone. Niether is Lynne. They can all do a much better job, but I'd shoulder the blame with the murders who kill for issues of "respect" and other nonesense. Just the other night, some idiot killed a young man for talking to his girl. Seriously, our problems do, in large part, go beyond law enforcement strategy.

Sorry, I'm a city boy who is fed up seeing this crap.

I am working to elect Larry Farnese to the General Assembly. Unless otherwise expressly stated, this and every comment or blog I post on YPP and any action I take hereon is solely attributable to me and not Farnese or Friends of Farnese

Fair enough

Fair..but

Gaetano...you are right. We all must take responsibility for the condition of our society. You are also correct when you point out that the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and the D.A. have not pulled any triggers. That does not absolve them for a failed criminal jusstice system, or poorly executing their respective jobs.

I for one beleive that Commissioner Johnson's theme of finding a holistic solution is correct. I also know from reading about the criminal justice system in Philly that something close to two thirds of all felony cases get thrown out because the D.A.'s office isn't ready. So even if the Commissioner went out and arrested more criminals, two thirds would still walk! This revolving door at the courthouse directly contributes to the high body count. So you are right and since I am a philly boy as well, I will add that Ben is "righter".

Though its become a cliche

Though its become a cliche by now, we will not make a serious dent in the high crime rate until we deal with the social & economic decay in urban areas. This means providing people with the job skills necessary for holding down a full time job & getting jobs for the thousands of ghetto youth hanging around on street corners. This probably requires a Marshall Plan for the nation's urban area & government employment akin to Roosevelt's made shift work during the Depression.

Short of that, strict gun control would have an impact. But our industrious state legislature has seen fit to strip Philadelphia of its authority to institute strict gun control.

Yeah, sigh, for once we are all in a chorus of agreement

on this law enforcement stuff.

Someone (hi, Dan) should resurrect the discussion of short-term (was it 30 days?) solutions to the gun violence problem. There's got to be a way to force real dialogue and policy-making.

Reading about this stuff is like reading every article with another 30 people blown up in a market, or twenty headless bodies found in Baghdad. You can't believe that people aren't even materially trying to come up with plans that have a prayer of working.

Jennifer

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