Last night there were three crews covering the entire central business district. Just one domestic violence call ties up two of them.
It’s not enough.
There is zero proactive police work being done in Dayton right now thanks to tight budgets and diminished ranks. Even the best police work is hampered by a prosecutor who is more worried about his conviction rate- than his effectiveness at deterring crime. Our judges aren’t much better- handing out light sentences and allowing plea deals to lighten their work load.
Montgomery County has become a play-pen for the mischievous- while the surrounding counties still have a reputation for being tough on crime.
Our county jail is nicer than some cut-rate motels, and considering that when you are incarcerated the taxpayers pick up your health care- some see it as an easy way to get their emergency dental work done.
In the meantime, we’ve still got politicians talking about creating jobs and economic development- while ignoring the costs to business of a half-assed approach to deterring crime.
I’m sitting and writing this in a dark office- not because it’s nighttime, but because some low-life stole my electric meter last night. It’s not expensive enough to cause an insurance claim- but, it is costing lost productivity in terms of work not getting done. The same goes for time spent rectifying the broken window on my girlfriend’s car two weeks ago (we didn’t even make a police report- it was just the back wing window- the car had been ransacked, but nothing was taken. Turns out 4 cars were hit the same way that night in the neighborhood). The window was $150- the time to deal with it was a few more hours.
Just by moving from Kettering to Dayton- a mere 2.5 miles, my girlfriend’s insurance on her car and her renter’s insurance jumped 20%. These are real costs- that factor into “economic development.”
The last time my office was broken into- it disrupted work for almost 3 days. The cost of crime isn’t just the cost of the damage and the theft- it’s the time wasted in dealing with it. If Dayton (greater) wants to do something that will help economic development- the first thing we should be looking at is removing as many of these time-sucks as possible.
For starters, we need a prosecutor who is tough on crime and we need to make the county jail a place you don’t like to stay. Making big rocks into little rocks may not be done efficiently by hand- but it sure makes someone think twice about doing time.
I will say one thing though- DPD responded with a crew before I was even off the phone with DP&L- and the evidence tech was here and gone- before the meter replacement showed up. Maybe if DP&L weren’t paying its CEO a million a year- it could actually afford people to have crews to show up and replace a meter when it gets stolen- but, no, that makes too much sense.[Added] Three hours later, I have a meter and three days to secure a new cover for the meter box. Apparently, meters are being stolen to go on homes where the power has been shut off. So once again, our crappy economy thanks to the wizards of Wall Street affects those of us on Main Street. [end of addition]
As I sit, listening to the chirp of dying battery backup units, I am thankful that removing the meter wasn’t the prelude of another break-in. I’m not sure that I’m ready to deal with the emotions that comes along with those. But, if I can’t trust the government to keep this neighborhood safe, it makes me think it’s time to take care of things internally. I guess I’ll be setting up a grid of security cameras to complement the alarm systems- but, in reality what I think we really need is to go back to a less kind and less gentle justice system- where low-life criminals experience a good ass whuppin on their way to jail.
Because we can’t afford to keep playing nice, while our livelihood goes slipping out with the meter.