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OPINION

Can't Blame Citizens for Turning to Private Security

neighborhood crime watch
(Jason Finn/Dreamstime.com)

Michael Letts By Wednesday, 01 February 2023 02:45 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Residents of big cities like New York and Chicago got what they wanted when they criticized and cut funding for their police. Their departments shrank.

However, they failed to look beyond what would happen with their knee-jerk reactions to the 2020 and 2021 anti-police riots.

The New York public foolishly thought that with fewer police, there would be fewer problems.

The opposite happened.

Crime increased to the point where police are prioritizing calls, and even then response times have increased. In some cases, government officials have tried to increase the size of their police departments, but the well has been poisoned.

Those same politicians who want a greater police presence in their cities can’t get it because they made the work so unattractive and unrewarding for officers.

This sceanrio has forced residents to take action.

In New York City, a group of Bronx business owners formed the "Ambassadors Program."

Under the program, a group of five unarmed people will patrol the area between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, the New York Post reported.

Under normal circumstances, politicians would usually urge citizens to allow the police to do their jobs.

But these aren’t normal times.

New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said on MSNBC that he supports this action.

"No, it is a wise strategy because I say this over and over again, not only must the numbers reflect safety, but people must feel safe," Adams said. "We had a summit two weeks ago with all of our major chains to look at the repeated grand larcenies and larcenies that have taken place in the stores and we’re going to come up with a major initiative in that place."

He further noted, "People must feel safe, and we must make sure that businesses are safe in this city. And that’s what the NYPD is doing."

New York isn’t the only place this is happening.

In Chicago last year, some neighborhoods started hiring private security firms to protect their homes and citizens, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The North Side neighborhoods include Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Bucktown.

The Journal noted that crimes in Bucktown were up 30% during the first quarter of this year.

When a seven-year-old girl was shot and killed in Atlanta, people there started looking into private security.

Atlanta District 7 Council member Howard Shook said in 2020 that it was "obvious that the civilian authorities do not control the streets and cannot provide even a token feeling of safety beyond our front doors."

While in Chicago it is private citizens hiring security, in Atlanta, those who wanted to hire private security included a city councilman. J. P. Matzigkeit wanted the private security force to work in conjunction with police. He attributed the increasing number of crimes in the city to the mayor’s support of the "Defund the Police" agenda.

However, this will only be a Band-Aid on a much larger problem.

These security officers will not be able to make arrests and/or carry weapons, depending on the program and city where they operate.

They will drive around the neighborhoods in security vehicles, and although they will be armed, they are expected to use their phones to call 911 and take pictures of crime.

It doesn’t sound like they will be much more than a juiced-up Neighborhood Watch. They won’t be able to do much if a crime is happening, other than call for help.

Crime victims will still be waiting for an understaffed police force to respond.

Michael Letts is the Founder and CEO of In-Vest USA, a national grassroots nonprofit organization helping to re-fund police by contributing thousands of bulletproof vests for police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. Read More Michael Letts reports — Here.

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MichaelLetts
This will only be a Band-Aid on a much larger problem. These security officers will not be able to make arrests and/or carry weapons. It doesn’t sound like they will be much more than a juiced-up Neighborhood Watch. They won’t be able to do much if a crime is happening.
adams, chicago, watch
638
2023-45-01
Wednesday, 01 February 2023 02:45 PM
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