I’ve been keeping an eye on the recent outbreak of violence in the city I was born in and more so since they’ve been taking place in the neighborhood I grew up in… and my mother still lives in; for a bit of reference, you can read http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120619/NEWS01/306190046/1006/RSS.
The increase of drug and gang-like activity in that part of the city is one of the reasons why I moved my family to Newark 20+ years ago and literally a day or so before some girls my daughter was hanging out with killed another young girl for her Starter jacket… and it seems now that this section of town has gotten progressively worse. Like I said, I was born and raised there… and I won’t go there unless I have a damned good reason to go.
It scares the shit out of me that my mother practically lives in the middle of this insanity. The city has been working its ass off to lure businesses to town, especially in the relatively new waterfront district – our version of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We even have our own minor league baseball team but it doesn’t do the city any good to waste millions of dollars on developing that side of town when almost no one can visit there at night; to do so is literally putting your life at risk.
The residents are cowed; they know that if they were to rat out the dealers and other crimes that they might see, they’re signing their death warrants because reprisal is pretty much a given.
The police chief is being pressured to resign because, well, he’s not been doing much to keep people safe. I read an article where he says that his cops will now – and literally – walk the beat, something that even I remember from my childhood. The cops’ problem, other than manpower, which most police departments have, is a lack of visibility in the troubled areas. Sure, there are patrol cars and cops on bikes but their presence needs to be stepped up and to the point that you will always see a cop at every turn and, yeah, especially at night.
It really sucks to see what’s happened to the part of town I grew up in and the streets I used to walk without fear…