Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The bankings will continue until morale improves!

Buz has been following the various posts on Peter Hermann's blog about the "random attacks" (also known as "banking" here in Baltimore, as in we just banked that no-good "mf", got him good, too. Ha ha.)
And there was huge front page coverage in the Sunday edition of the Sun, with the headline City on Guard, or something like that.

An earlier post I made on Baltimore Crime blog under Random Attacks,  elicited a response from Matthew who got banked while walking home on Lombard Street, just a couple blocks east of the Harbor, and not far from his home. And a number of comments on other blogs have posted about attacks on them or that they have witnessed, including Tom who wrote about the banking of a dude on the light rail.

Is this the end of the Baltimore we knew, or is it the same old thing, but now it is widely reported because of the Internet?

In the short term, there will be a huge police presence downtown around the harbor, and in the Market Place area, but what will happen in the long term? Will banking just go away, as it gets into summer and the youngsters get tired of it? Or will there be an "Incident" of some kind, like Berhard Goetz a number of years ago, or will someone be killed? Or will it, hopefully drift out of fashion.

The first couple of Sundays will be the true test: will the kids challenge the cops with their new show of force? We'll see what happens. Usually a heavy manpower show-of-force before something happens does deter rowdy behavior to some extent. But the uniformed force is understaffed and cannot be everywhere.

Buz thought Peter Hermann's piece on Sunday, the 31st was superb. However, I don't think the caption under the picture is correct. Tourists and diners will not be, as Councilman Cole hopes, "coexisting" or sharing the sidewalks with roaming gangs of teenagers. Eventually, there won't be any tourists or diners, if it becomes too scary. Of course, the city and the mayor and the commish all recognize that and will do their best by having a heavy police presence-at least in the Inner Harbor area.
Now, it may be possible to create an "everyday Preakness infield" atmosphere (I hear that really draws tourists!), or a version of Marid Gras (but I thought we had that on the Block every night!), but I am not sure a majority of our citizens want to live with those either.

Some more random eclectic thoughts about this crisis:
  • My dear wife thought the Sun was sensationalizing this whole thing with how they layed-the front page out and the headline: all to sell more papers. But I think the story is an important one.
  • One lady wrote to the Sun's editors that she has talked to several officers who said the morale on the police force was very low because of little backing and little prosecution, and little punishment. Hmmmmmm. Perhaps if morale improves, the banking will stop?
  • Ah, the Suite Ultralounge, hopefully ready to be put out of its moneymaking business. Those in the security consulting field know all to well  that clubs like this typically do not ask for any guidance or advice from professionals, if at all, until it is too late, and they end up shooting themselves in their wallets. Of course, many of them don't care, they're in it to make as much money as they can, as quickly as they can, by pouring as much alcohol into folks as they can sell, until too much trouble happens. If they get shut down, so be it, they can always look for another place.
  • OOOOOh. Somebody is going to get an ass-chewing! A kid got banked yesterday outside the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor. Probably someone did not get the word from the Commish that none of this stuff is supposed to go on at the Inner Harbor; certainly the kids from Digital Harbor didn't read it or watch TV. Oh, I know, those kids didn't do it! I remember last year or the year before when there was a banking of numerous pedestrians along the promenade and Donny Moses, the police spokesman said that their uniforms showed that they were from Digital Harbor. Oh, the principal said: you have no proof; our kids are good kids, they don't do stuff like that! Moses, when questioned on TV, stood by his statement: the uniforms matched those of the only high school nearby.
  • We wish the mayor or some popular elected or selected public figure would show some outrage publicly. Ray Lewis, I know you wanted to help and I know it's off season, so you're relaxing your sore muscles and counting your money, but like, maybe you can say something, or maybe go out on patrol or something with some of the other Ravens. Don't worry: I don't think the kids will attack you.
  • We wish Peter Hermann will tell us about the 4 Canadian naval officers who were attacked. Now, Buz remembers that a Canadian destroyer docked at Fells Point 2 or 3 weeks ago, and he is sure that sailors will sometimes by sailors, know what I'm saying? But officers? I dunno (a technical term). Like, were they drunk, causing trouble, or did they just get banked? We'd like to know!
  • Have you all noticed how many guys now carry a semi-concealed folded knife on a clasp in their pocket or belt? I guess that's sort of a way of proving that it is not concealed, so an arrest would be questionable? Even good guys like my neighbor do it; of course, he's in construction, but.......  So, my worry is that eventually one of these guys is going to pull out this knife or box cutter, slash or stab, even kill one of these kids, and there will be all sorts of conniptions to pay.
  • We noticed a lot of these attacked persons had the temerity to venture out and about when packs of hooky-playing school kids were looking for something to do. Not to mention right after school when the crowd mentality takes over. Bad move; these kids own the streets then.
It looks like this will be a continuing story, now that crime is down, but we're number one (will there by a parade, escorted by hundreds of dirt-bikes, with traffickers throwing out red-tops from floats?) Now, could it be that the stat-driven Comp Stat has outlived its usefulness? Or should we just begin a Bank Stat?