At a community
The issues ranged from housing to lack of
Ward 2 City Director Ken
“One day you’re treated like a trespasser in your community, the next day you’re treated like a friend,” Richardson said. “They’re sick and tired of it.”
Richardson connected the recent problems — including multiple times seeing 4 to 5 police cars pulled over beside traffic stops on Asher Avenue — as a part of the increased overtime given to police on Aug 17.
Police have said that this overtime allowed them to create a patrol unit that does not respond to certain calls and, instead, roams areas with high crime rates.
Buckner, and Assistant Chief Hayward
“The numbers show that it is working,” Finks told the gathered crowd. “The calls for shots fired have come down.”
Finks said that the department is focusing on “constructive contacts.” This means when someone is pulled over in these neighborhoods it is not always to arrest or give a ticket but just talk to people. With staffing issues, Finks, who used to walk a beat as a community police officer, said stopping cars is their current iteration of community policing.
But multiple community members said that increased traffic stops would not help solve homicides.
“It helps make various relationships in these communities worse,” Richardson said.
“There is not a correlation,” Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen said, “[where the] more traffic stops you make, the homicides go down.”
He said police cannot “police a neighborhood out of violence; it hasn’t happened.” In order to solve the issues, he said, the city must recognize that “before you get to a homicide, there is political violence, there is economic violence.”
He mentioned the lack of jobs and resources in many neighborhoods in Ward 2. “Eventually those are communities where you have a high increase in crime and you can bring the biggest police force you want but if you don’t address the causes you never affect cures,” he said.
Russ Racop, a local blogger, made a video depicting most of the meeting which you can view here.