12 September 2006

Fighting Crime In The Streets Of Oakland (and Frisco)

Dr. Frank, who lives in a part of Oakland that I wouldn't, and who's been attacked, oh, at least a couple times that I'm aware of, finds himself bemused by that city's latest crime-fighting tactic: authorities have somehow determined who Oakland's "top 100 violent offenders" are, and are offering them a deal: either stop misbehaving, in which case they'll get job training and "other assistance to clean up their lives," or else the city will prosecute them "to the fullest extent of the law."

Pardon me for asking, but if city officials actually know who those top 100 violent offenders are, wouldn't they be guilty of criminal negligence for continuing to let them roam the streets? And doesn't this approach sound an awful lot like a befuddled parent shouting, "This time I really mean it!" at his recalcitrant offspring?

Speaking of which, across the Bay in that other oasis of civility, San Francisco, authorities are thinking about cracking down hard on that city's murderers and robbers by - get this - enforcing a midnight curfew on children aged 13 and under. Not to dismiss the problem of juvenile crime, and not suggest that a 12 or 13 year old has any business being out on the street after 9 or 10, let alone midnight, but how many murders have been committed by the 13-and-under crowd? And at any rate, you'd think a resourceful 13-year-old could get nearly all his killing done prior to the witching hour, wouldn't you?

As an indicator of the lunacy that reigns virtually supreme in Frisco politics, there are those opposed to enforcing the curfew on grounds that it is unfair to "youths in minority neighborhoods." Were you aware that there is some gene specific to "minority" children that forces them, like so many werewolves, to haunt the streets in the post-midnight hours? No, I wasn't either.

At least while SF's cops are out combing the streets for wayward infants they'll no longer have to trouble themselves with rounding up potheads. At least not if gay hippie Supervisor (which one, you ask?) Tom Ammiano gets his way: he's introduced legislation encouraging the police to ignore dope smokers, because as we all know, man, people high on pot just wanna be groovy and love everybody, right? Or maybe it's more a case of Ammiano wanting to cover his own ass in the event a police officer should wander into City Hall while he and his fellow Supes are toking up, erm, I mean legislating for the greater good of the public.

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