According to the N&R, the Greensboro city council is contemplating paying about a third of a million dollars to purchase horses for a downtown mounted patrol, and another third of a million every year to pay for the mounted officers and care of the horses.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
That's $650,000 in the first year, and $300,000 a year thereafter for extra police protection in a low-crime area, because downtown property owners and merchants are afraid that something bad might happen.
But there are plenty of areas in Greensboro where bad things are happening, and the council hasn't been talking about increased police protection for them. And this is going on just a week after a building-maintenance bond failed with the voters, saddling the council with some expensive budget items in the upcoming fiscal year.
Can anyone provide a reasonable explanation of this obvious disparity in the proposed distribution of law enforcement resources?
Because it looks to me like upper-middle class council members want to spend scarce law enforcement dollars on people who are like them with respect to race, class, and social connections, and are ignoring people who are different from them in those respects.
Update: Councilman Tom Phillips writes in the comments, "The Council to my knowledge is not considering this. The first N&R article indicated that it was Mike Barber's idea, but he immediately denied it. I was surprised to see that there would be a demonstration on Friday and I don't know who is pushing this. The Mayor may like it, but I can't imagine this having any momentum."
Update II: Councilwoman Sandy Carmany concurs: "I echo Tom's statement - city council as a whole has NOT discussed this Only one, Mike Barber, has mentioned it, but as Tom noted, Mike says it wasn't his idea. My opinion? If the downtown business district folks want to use THEIR extra tax collections on a horse patrol, that's fine with me, but pay for it out of the city's general fund when we have so many other needs, NO WAY!"
That's good news.
Posted by David Wharton at Saturday, November 18, 2006