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Old 12-23-2009, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
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.
I get that it wasn't random crime. Random would have been if the men in the SUV attacked me. What happened between them and the man who walked to the store wasn't random. I get that.

I don't think there were prior incidents between these guys in the suburbs though. The police seemed to be rather shaken by the fact that something like this had come to their area. That's not their normal reaction when I talk to them. They usually say when there's been a prior occurrence---like once I was talking about an encounter my son had and the police officer told me that I should have reported it because they've seen an increase in that type of problem. This SUV incident really bothered them!

My point is that this man would have been dead before there was a pattern that would have increased the resources to the area. He moved to a new area to get away and they followed him with their first response in this area being to run him over. Maybe their previous encounters happened elsewhere. All I know is that the resources in the area prevented him from being killed.

I don't believe for a minute that the same response would have happened if I had made that call in North Side, Manchester or Homewood. I dont' believe it for a minute. I've lived in North Side and Manchester. The city does have the resources for those areas. The police just don't respond.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by trotter_rej View Post
The Zone 4 police station is on Northumberland St. in Squirrel Hill, just a couple of blocks from the business district.
I stand corrected. But, I still stand by my other points.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I don't think there were prior incidents between these guys in the suburbs though.
Exactly my point! Assuming (as is quite likely) there were prior incidents, and that they weren't in the suburbs (or at least not in your local suburbs), how would you change things in the past such that the chain of events was cut off before this incident even occurred? You can't do it with police resources sitting underutilized in your local suburbs, precisely because the initial chain of events started elsewhere. Instead, you have to try to make sure police resources can move around to wherever the first events in the chain occurred.

Quote:
All I know is that the resources in the area prevented him from being killed.
But it seems he also got lucky, because he could have been killed instantly, so preventing this kind of thing from happening at all is the much better approach. And we know we can do better than we are doing when it comes to the overall incidence of crime: people have studied various policing approaches, and they know what works and what doesn't, and flexible allocation of well-funded and well-trained police forces targeted on places where the crime cycle is threatening to start is what works.

Quote:
I don't believe for a minute that the same response would have happened if I had made that call in North Side, Manchester or Homewood. I dont' believe it for a minute. I've lived in North Side and Manchester. The city does have the resources for those areas. The police just don't respond.
You are again thinking of this as a zero-sum game, in fact a negative-sum game: your implicit view is that police resources will disappear from your neighborhood, then do absolutely no good elsewhere as far as lowering the overall crime rate, and so you will just be worse off.

I guess I don't know what else to say to that fear. It is understandable, but it is also ill-founded, and that attitude is leading to our area, and indeed our nation, having a lot more crime than necessary.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
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).
Then how do dope fiends stand on Centre and Kirkpatrick in the Hill District and get away with it? I don't see them in Shadyside. I don't know if the residents of high crime areas have become numb or complacent or scared (maybe it's all three), but they tolerate such things much more than an upper-class neighborhood would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
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.
And, haven't we been attempting to do this for the past forty years with our entitlement and "Great Society" programs? Poor people were moved from crumbling slums into project buildings (which they promptly destroyed and filled with crime). They are given HUD subsidies, food stamps, free education up to Grade 12 for their children, free medical care for themselves and their children through Medicaid, grants for post-secondary education, and on and on. Some of these poor people get more in free stuff than I make annually. Have all of these subsidies decreased crime? No, these "disadvantaged" groups still seem to have a proclivity for shooting each other and causing problems.

I actually have authority to speak on stuff like this because I was once poor. When my parents divorced I was forced to move into a HUD apartment complex. We had nothing but a mattress on the floor for our couch and a small black and white TV sitting on milk crates. We were BROKE. I looked around at our neighbors who had nice TV's and furniture while they indiscriminately popped out kids they couldn't afford to support. I saw firsthand the entitlement complex and the indolence that afflict the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder.

Some people are just plain ****ing trash - no matter how much you try to help them or how much stuff you give them.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
I don't know if the residents of high crime areas have become numb or complacent or scared (maybe it's all three), but they tolerate such things much more than an upper-class neighborhood would.
That is what I mean about circumstances mattering. It isn't the people who are inherently different, it is the circumstances that those people are in which are different.

Quote:
And, haven't we been attempting to do this for the past forty years with our entitlement and "Great Society" programs?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes we have made things worse (the projects were a disaster from a crime-prevention perspective, however well-intentioned they might have been). Meanwhile, other public policies have also made things worse. For example, our ever-escalating "war on drugs" has caused a lot of avoidable crime.

Quote:
Have all of these subsidies decreased crime? No, these "disadvantaged" groups still seem to have a proclivity for shooting each other and causing problems.
I think it is worth noting that violent crime rates started steadily declining in the 1990s. Specifically, the violent crime rate peaked at 758.1 per 100,000 in 1991, and was down to 454.5 in 2008. The homicide rate peaked at 9.8 per 100,000 in 1991, and was down to 5.4 in 2008. We can and should do better, judging from our peer countries, but we have in fact been doing some helpful things over the last 20 years or so.

Quote:
Some people are just plain ****ing trash - no matter how much you try to help them or how much stuff you give them.
There are in fact some naturally antisocial people (some become drug dealers, some become CEOs who commit fraud, and so forth), so some crime is likely unavoidable. But we know it is possible to do much more to minimize crime than we have been doing.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
I don't know if the residents of high crime areas have become numb or complacent or scared (maybe it's all three), but they tolerate such things much more than an upper-class neighborhood would.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
That is what I mean about circumstances mattering. It isn't the people who are inherently different, it is the circumstances that those people are in which are different.
People move out of high crime areas. I doubt all people who stay are stuck there. There are many affordable areas that are safer. Yet, they chose to stay.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
People move out of high crime areas. I doubt all people who stay are stuck there. There are many affordable areas that are safer. Yet, they chose to stay.
Maybe they have family there. Maybe their church is there. Maybe they feel a sentimental attachment to their home. Just because they aren't literally "stuck" doesn't mean they wouldn't lose something from moving.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Maybe they have family there. Maybe their church is there. Maybe they feel a sentimental attachment to their home. Just because they aren't literally "stuck" doesn't mean they wouldn't lose something from moving.
That's the point. The people are different if they chose to live in a dangerous area when they aren't literally 'stuck' there.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
That's the point. The people are different if they chose to live in a dangerous area when they aren't literally 'stuck' there.
People who care about their families, churches, and homes, are "different"? That makes no sense to me--that is all ordinary behavior. Now to be sure, I was off like a shot as soon as I could attend college, and was willing to look all over the country for a place to settle down--and I still haven't lived anywhere in particular a long time as an adult. But I understand that people like me are more the exception than the rule, and that most people end up feeling a strong connection to places they live.

And meanwhile, "dangerous" is relative. The statistics say people who live in places where they have to do a lot of driving are making a choice to live more "dangerously"--in fact collectively, that is a much bigger safety issue than violent crime, particularly when you are talking about danger to innocent people, and even more particularly when you are talking about children. But I don't see a lot of people claiming those who "choose to live in a dangerous area" (a place where they will have to drive a lot) are "different".

The truth is most people make tradeoffs in their lives. So refusing to provide adequate policing to people because they have made a tradeoff that involves higher crime rates makes no more sense to me than refusing to provide emergency services to people who get into car accidents in the suburbs, on the theory that they made their choice to expose themselves to an elevated risk of car accidents and therefore should have to live (or die) with that choice.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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I'm not talking about normal city living, Brian.

I'm talking about living in a ghetto where there is gunfire on a regular basis.

People can be near family without living in the same neighborhood. And I know many people who have moved from the Hill but still attend the Baptist church there.

People are different if they chose to live where there's gunfire and police don't even respond in the midlde of the night.

I'm not talking about the people who have no choice.

I'm talking about the people who chose to remain where they have to turn their heads in fear of reporting crimes.

If they cared that much about family, they'd get their families out of there.
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