Saturday, September 22, 2007

Focus, People

Large sections of Greensboro are under the control of roving thugs, and the Greensboro police are unable to provide basic protection to ordinary citizens there. Billy Jones blogs about this, and gets almost no comments.

City Council responds to the gang problem by stealing officers for a gang unit from other patrols. Shortly after that, when neighborhoods in the city's inner-ring neighborhoods report a stormburst of car break-ins, the response from the police department is, "we hope you can catch them in the act and call us, because we don't have staff to increase patrols." Gee, thanks.

At the same time, the city's enforcement of minimum housing laws is so ineffectual that the Greensboro Housing Coalition feels compelled to give a housing award to the landlord with the most housing violations in the city -- more than 30 --, because last year that landlord had 63 violations. Wow. Isn't that like giving a sobriety award to a drunk for cutting down to a six-pack a day?

These things being so, I find it pretty disappointing that Greensboro is currently obsessing over the termination of a police chief that happened almost two years ago, and which has zero chance of a resolution that will please aggrieved parties.

All reports agree that the GPD was dysfunctional before David Wray became chief, remained dysfunctional under him (and appears to have become more so), and probably remains so today.

Does anyone have a practical and concrete plan to ensure that the City of Greensboro can provide basic law enforcement and housing protection to its citizens?

Caveat: "fire Mitch Johnson" or "ban the Simkins PAC" are not practical proposals to solve these problems. A new city manager would face the same police and housing enforcement problems that Mitch inherited, and the Simkins PAC represents a permanent political constituency in Greensboro that will not go away.

15 comments:

Mr. Sun said...

Don't hold your breath waiting for an answer. It's been a year since my own version of the question.

Billy The Blogging Poet said...

David,
Thanks for the link.

To answer your question: Yes, I do have a plan and will be happy to meet with area bloggers and media to discuss my plan. I've been told by several GPD officers that my plan has merrit.

David Wharton said...

Billy, I'm glad you have a plan. I'm forming a plan that addresses the housing problem. Let's get together.

Sun, you've asked versions of that question more than once. I learned it from you. Please keep asking it.

Bubba said...

".....I find it pretty disappointing that Greensboro is currently obsessing over the termination of a police chief that happened almost two years ago, and which has zero chance of a resolution that will please aggrieved parties....."

And there's a zero chance that the problems will be fixed with the current city management and city council.

"Obsessing" about correcting a gross misuse of government authority that resulted in the destruction of several people's careers and reputations?

I don't think so.

It's called "seeking justice".

More importantly, it's also informing those who want to perpetuate the corrupt "business as usual approach" to government that their time is done.

David Wharton said...

Bubba, what you and others seek in the name of justice for David Wray will never be achieved.

Meanwhile, even if the entire city council and Mitch Johnson and Linda Miles were canned tomorrow, we would still have a police force riven by mistrust, housing staff inadequate to make sure that people aren't living in ratholes, gangs terrorizing several neighborhoods, and police thin on the ground everywhere else.

Ya got a plan for that stuff?

Billy The Blogging Poet said...

My plan would deal with Bubba's concerns as well.

David, let's get together soon. Better housing and neighborhoods are a necessary part of long term crime reduction.

Bubba said...

"Ya got a plan for that stuff?"

I've got the first step that ANY plan must have to possibly work well.

Clean house at the top level of city employees and elected representitives.

Any other start dooms a plan from the very beginning.

What have you got?

David Wharton said...

I have a plan to make the housing inspections process more accountable and visible by using a blog and the County's property/GIS websites.

The plan would hold both city staff and property owners more accountable through photographs and the use of public information.

Jerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry said...

Count me in...my number is 336 218 1171...give me a call...that's real talk..

Fec Stench said...

I might be able to do another mashup if you can tell me what you need.

Billy The Blogging Poet said...

Bubba,
We're not that far apart but I'll not disclose my plan on any blog. I have family members whose safety I have to think about while living in a gang controlled neighborhood.

There have already been efforts on the part of someone in city government to discredit me and I've yet to fully announce my plan. Unless I can present it in a public forum where all are safe I refuse to discuss it.

I am working with certain members of GPD but they have warned me to be very cautious in how I present my plan.

Sue said...

David, if you're involved and if the approach requires any sort of technology behind it, we can probably help by providing some. (Some tech things are complex and costly while others can be more easily donated. Let's see which it is.)

To that end, if you're going to get a group together to go over a plan that needs Web space, please let me know. You've got my contact info.

Anonymous said...

Bubba said: "".....I find it pretty disappointing that Greensboro is currently obsessing over the termination of a police chief that happened almost two years ago, and which has zero chance of a resolution that will please aggrieved parties.....""

City officials aren't obsessing, they're reacting every time Bledsoe hits a homerun in his ongoing series. Were it not for Bledsoe's continued pressure, this thing would have been swept under the rug long ago.

David Wharton said...

"City officials aren't obsessing, they're reacting every time Bledsoe hits a homerun in his ongoing series."

John Hammer is very good at selling papers, and also at focusing people's attention on the issues he cares about. But the Wray issue is far from the most important one facing the city righ now.