Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You know, after reading the news over the past few days, I feel nauseous. We've had three Philly cops shot between the wee hours of Sunday morning and now. The first shooting happened when a night club was letting out. Some nutjob started firing a gun. A police officer who was on hand, due to previous disturbances connected to this particular club, was shot in the leg. One suspect in this case was fatally shot, and another was arrested.

Last night, someone shot three people in an SUV, and the police officer who pursued the suspect was shot in the shoulder. This particular suspect tried to flee by jumping into the Schuylkill river; a body was recovered from the river so this suspect might not be at large anymore.

This morning, a cop walked into a robbery at a Dunkin Donuts, and was shot in the head. The most recent headline I saw said that the officer is out of surgery. The gunman is at large. I hope he's caught and put away forever.

The entire city is NOT a war zone. The neighborhoods vary, sometimes block by block. Around here, the biggest issue was last year when some stupid kids tipped over birdbaths on several people's front lawns. But we have a large, very active civic association in this neighborhood, residents here show up en masse when there is something afoot that impacts the neighborhood (ie, the Vet Stadium implosion), and we have access to numbers to call for the police liaison if there's any kind of problem. Unfortunately, EVERY neighborhood is not so well organized, or we wouldn't see a lot of the hideous headlines that appear in the local papers on a regular basis.

However, if you don't "know" the city, and you don't recognize just what localities a lot of the hideous headlines are occurring in, you won't realize that the entire city is not a disaster area. Hence, the reason why my (suburban resident) father-in-law repeatedly asks Mark about the crime rate in the city.

Personally, I am sick of the hideous headlines, and I don't care WHAT neighborhood(s) the worst episodes are concentrated in. It ALL needs to stop. The GOOD people of the city are in *every* neighborhood, and none of us deserves to put up with the vermin anymore. Mayoral candidate Nutter wants to institute a "stop and frisk" policy. GOOD. If it gets a few more thugs off the streets, stop-and-frisk away. And I don't know who the new police commissioner will be, as our current one will be retiring... but I hope it's someone who's hard-nosed on crime. It's time to take out the trash so the decent people in EVERY neighborhood can live in peace.

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