City of Tolerance
Posted on Wednesday, August 07th 2013 at 09:16 am
I wrote this letter to Mayor and Council after last nights vote to fine retail businesses for abandoned shopping carts.
I know you voted last night to fine stores for shopping carts that are abandoned. There is no question that they are an eye sore. But, how did those shopping carts get there? I have often seen people pushing carts down the road without a care. We don't hold those that steal the carts accountable, but instead we punish the victim since they are an easy target. I have experienced this as well regarding people dumping trash on our tower sites (see picture below). It happens so often that I now am friends with the city inspector and he calls me instead of sending a letter letting me know I need to clean up our property.
I believe our high tolerance for nuisance crimes in our city like stealing carts, litter, and other "minor" vandalism is breeding general disrespect for the law and those that enforce it. I am on the Tucson Police Foundation board and recently we received a report from a senior commander about the increase of violent crime against officers. She said she was looking forward to retirement in a couple of years because 'the criminals are getting more bold in their violent attacks on officer's".
When New York City was the most dangerous city in America the Mayor and Police Commissioner instituted their "broken glass" policy. The theory was that if you break a window you would be arrested. The policy produced miraculous results. It turned out that those that would "break glass" would also steal your car or assault you. Crime dropped dramatically and NYC is one of the safest cities in America. I would ask you to consider policies that hold criminals accountable and not punish tax paying business owners. Continuing to burden business owners will eventually make them scream like Peter Finch in the movie "Network" "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore". And continuing to give criminals a "pass" encourages greater crime.
A friend of mine who was a drug addict told me that if one more person had "loved" him, they would have killed him. Every time he needed a fix he would plead with his family or friends that he needed money for food for his kids or some other excuse. They gave him money and he got high, until they finally showed him real love. It was tough, but now he is clean and sober. We don't love people by enabling them.