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Old 12-23-2009, 09:27 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,438,478 times
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In the situation I described, I don't believe that three police cars would have been there in within a minute if there was a county police force.

These random crimes that spill over into the suburbs would become statistics. That man would have been run over by that SUV on a side street. He'd be dead.

Since the area doesn't have much crime, the resources wouldn't have been there to prevent him from being killed.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
That's what I never understood about 'hood drug dealers. When they shoot guns and cause beef all it does is bring police attention down on themselves, and this is bad for business.
So people have studied the economics of violent drug gangs, and here is the basic situation:

These drug gangs typically have what is sometimes called a tournament structure. The people at the bottom of the gang hierarchy get paid ridiculously little for their efforts--as in they are often getting paid less than minimum wage for a job that could get them killed or jailed for years. However, if they survive and advance in the organization, once they get to the top (and often they need to be right at the top), then they make a bunch of money.

This structure invites violence both within the organization and between organizations, because basically everyone has an incentive to see other people in the game eliminated from the tournament. This is true even at the top, because you are never really secure in your position.

And it is absolutely true that all this violence is reducing the total size of the economic pie (drug profits) available for division. But that doesn't really matter to anyone in particular: the people at the bottom aren't meaningfully sharing in the profits so have no real stake in that issue. And the people at the top are actually making so much money that it doesn't make much practical difference to them exactly how much they make. In other words, the lack of a "middle management" with a vested interest in the overall profitability of the enterprise means no one has a clear incentive to be watching the bottomline closely.

However, if any violence is swiftly detected and punished from the outside, then this tournament structure isn't sustainable, then you actually get a more normal (albeit illegal) enterprise structure, complete with "middle management" figures steadily making a decent amount of money, and thus with a vested interest in maximizing overall profitability. So that is what you see in non-violent drug gangs, but that is only possible if the outside constraints on violence are really effective.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:31 AM
 
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But, there aren't a lot of police resources in Squirrel Hill and why is this? Because there is practically no crime there. Zone 1 station is smack dab in the middle of the North Side and it is still a dump over there. I know wouldn't walk up Brighton Road at night. Whenever I have been in Homewood I always see cop cars cruising about...and Homewood is still Homewood.

I don't think the problem is lack of resources. I think that it is the culture of the residents who support, or at the very least tolerate, pervasive criminal behavior. Hence why normal people move away and the neighborhood decays and all that is left are the criminals and the poor who can't afford to leave. If these people would just stand up and do something then the police would be more than happy to help them. But, they don't and they oftentimes refuse to cooperate.

A significant percentage of the African-American community and of the lower classes of the Caucasion community have a different culture than the rest of us. They do not value education and civic-mindedness. They made their bed. Let them sleep in it.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:34 AM
 
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They have middle management, Brian. The top isn't supplying the workers on the streets. Maybe it's not the type of middle management that provides stability. It doesn't need to be. They see no need for stability. I think the guns and violence is a draw---a culture---to recruit the bottom tier. Young boys like guns, want to be soldiers, etc. The structure feeds on that along with the providing a family mentality for those who don't feel they belong.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:36 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,438,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
They made their bed. Let them sleep in it.
THAT is the mentality of the police who cruise the areas! THAT is why the police don't get out of their cars!
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:40 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,875,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
In the situation I described, I don't believe that three police cars would have been there in within a minute or two if there was a county police force.

These random crimes that spill over into the suburbs would become statistics. That man would have been run over by that SUV on a side street. He'd be dead.

Since the area doesn't have much crime, the resources wouldn't have been there to prevent him from being killed.
I obviously don't know enough about that situation to comment other than hypothetically.

But here is what happens overall. Truly random crime is really rare, and most crime instead builds over time on an escalating basis. So most crime that actually occurs could have been prevented if after the first instance of related crime there was a rapid and effective response.

So hypothetically--and I again don't know if this is true--there might well have been prior incidents involving those people that you aren't aware of, to which a more rapid and effective response would have prevented that incident you witnessed from ever occurring.

Again, I get the fear: in your mind those police resources just leave your area, and the same amount of crime still occurs, so what's the benefit to you? But the precise point is that those police resources which have been reallocated out of generally low-crime areas would not be doing nothing, but instead would be more effectively dealing with crime elsewhere, and thereby preventing the crime cycle from ever taking off. And in fact that should lead to less spillover into low-crime areas.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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And I don't blame the cops who have that mentality. Why risk my ass for a neighborhood full of people who don't respect what I am trying to do?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:47 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,875,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
They have middle management, Brian. The top isn't supplying the workers on the streets.
They have a hierarchy and supply chains, but typically way up the ladder the people are still getting paid peanuts for their efforts.

Quote:
I think the guns and violence is a draw---a culture---to recruit the bottom tier. Young boys like guns, want to be soldiers, etc. The structure feeds on that along with the providing a family mentality for those who don't feel they belong.
There are a few naturally violent people around, but most people--even boys--aren't willing to seriously risk their own lives without being paid in some way. It is true that you can pay people in part with honor and comraderie, but a big part of the pitch of drug gangs is purely financial: do this for us, and eventually you will get paid. It just turns out that eventually is a long way off, and violence is your only route to that promised pay day.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:53 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,875,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
I don't think the problem is lack of resources.
As I suggested above, resources are only part of the problem, and therefore only part of the solution. You also have to try to address the underlying causes of crime in the first place.

But I really think there is no foundation for the idea that some people just tolerate crime more than others (as a matter of culture or whatever). Most people have the same basic needs and concerns, and under the right circumstances will behave in socially cooperative ways, and in the wrong circumstances will behave in antisocial ways. So rather than abandoning people in the wrong circumstances to their fate, while applauding the people who happen to be in the right circumstances, I think we need to think seriously about restructuring the situation so that many fewer people are in the wrong circumstances--which is ultimately to the benefit of us all.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Swisshelm Park
436 posts, read 438,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
But, there aren't a lot of police resources in Squirrel Hill
The Zone 4 police station is on Northumberland St. in Squirrel Hill, just a couple of blocks from the business district.
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