Friday, March 14, 2008

"Crime Decline" in Charm City

Well, so far, it seems Baltimore is hanging on to its "low crime" start of the year. We had the lowest number of homicides in January in many years. Is the criminal justice system turning around? Or is this some wretched pure randomness? We'll see. The criminals, it appears, are just starting to prepare for their "spring offensive".  Though the numbers are down, there are plenty of violent incidents still out there.

We can speculate that Commissioner Bealefeld is following some of the policy prescriptions of David Kennedy, whom I heard speak at Friends School last fall. Fred Bealefeld was there to listen--though he left about halfway through (accompanied by Adam Walinsky of Police Corps fame.)

Kennedy is famous for his implementation of the Boston CeaseFire Project--which dropped their homicides dramatically. (They went crazy last year when their murders crept back up to 60). His key points were: that there are only a small number of extremely active, extremely violent individuals (i.e., more than 35 arrests) who lead violent groups. And unless these individuals are brought under control, violent crime will be difficult to reduce.

"Sales People" on ListServes

Recently one of my colleagues on a Campus Law Enforcement List Serve bemoaned the fact that "sales people" troll the list serve and somehow look for clients, thereby are harassing him, and he is tired of it. (I'm paraphrasing here.) Another person chimed in agreeing wholeheartedly. A third person exclaimed "Dito! Dito!" (his spelling).
Well, gee, the person did not give any evidence of the abusive behavior, if any, of this sales person or in fact what they were  selling. And, gee, he could politely say he is not interested, and hang up, or ignore the letter, or ignore the email.

And: news flash for members of the list serve: the "contractors, vendors, and sales people" would not be on the list serve unless your association gave them access. And these "associate members" , like me, pay big bucks to be such. I doubt IACLEA's management would agree to kick them off the List Serve.

Living is selling. Many small business people, like myself, subscribe to professional organizations in order to keep up with what's going on in the field, and yes, to get leads for possible business. If you notice, McDonald's, Pepsi, and your local car dealer never stop advertising.

But perhaps these folks are in secure, stable, employment making big bucks so that they'll never need to retire or start a second career, or, even start a business where they have to sell something. So, Buz understands, and asks for their compassion--at least a little. On the other hand, the consultant has compassion for them, too, since unwanted sales attempt can be annoying.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Burglars ripping and running

It's come to my attention, that, apparently, a lot ob burglars simply take the siren of your residential alarm and rip it off the wall--to shut the darn thing up. A resident of Mt. Washington just told Buz about this happening during a burglary at his home a while back.  Apparently, this was done recently at several burglaries during the recent wave of B&E's in Pigtown. The consultant recommends that prevention against burglaries be a defense in depth. Alarms have to be supplemented with good doors, windows, locks, and lighting systems. One will not be able to deny them entrance completely and indefinitely, but the object is to deter, delay, and detect their intrusion.
Many burglars, research has shown, shy away from houses which have alarms, but, of course, it is unknown how high this percentage is. But most hard-core burglars will know that they have a window of 5 to perhaps 15 minutes before arrival of police. The siren is only useful at times. So, it's important that alarms be such that the intrusion is detected pretty early, and your locks or grates keep the perpetrators out so long that they don't want to risk apprehension or simply give up and go somewhere else.