July 10, 2006

July 10, 2006: Déjà vu ... Must not give in to despair ...

Think root causes ... racism ... victimization ... policeman as friend and mentor ... not upholder of the law ...

Editorial: Tackling Toronto street violence Jul. 6, 2006.

[....] Yet some Torontonians have already given way to despair. After the recent violence, Councillor Michael Thompson declared that the city's preventive programs had failed. He called for heavier investment in policing and a "tougher" approach to crime. That is simplistic.

The Toronto Police Service must be commended for anti-gang initiatives on Toronto's mean streets, including the arrest of the notorious Jamestown Crew, a new emphasis on community policing in high-risk neighbourhoods, and the recruiting of more officers. As well, the police are wisely pursuing community programs, such as the hiring this week of 100 teenagers, from the ages of 14 to 17, for summer jobs in various departments of the force. The excellent "youth in policing" program is one of the first of its kind in Canada and is designed to give teenagers a chance to earn money while gaining a better understanding of law and order.

By all means, officers should be tough on crime. But this city mustn't give up on preventive programs that, over the long run, could be the most effective way to turn the tide of gun violence.

Wouldn't it make more sense to get the criminals first, then work on the rest?

Photo: Celebrity Fasting - Jeeeeeze Italics Mine from www.dawn.com/2006/07/05/top10.htm


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