Sunday, April 10, 2005

Next mayor will face safety issues

My comments within the article:

Peduto: The COP program (Community Oriented Police) has a nice ring to it. However, I'm not convinced of its honest effectiveness. It might sound better than it performed. Putting officers into dinky mini-stations was not the same as putting them onto the street. Why did we need the mini-stations? Where the mini-stations a place to hang out? Were the mini-stations really a place to hang a big sign and not really serve much of any purpose?

I'm not going to lend support to the COPs program. At this time, I'd nix that as a position plank.

Next mayor will face safety issues Lamb would ask the Legislature for tighter gun restrictions within the city limits and work with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency on drug prevention programs.

Tighter gun restrictions, and begging to Harrisburg some more. No thanks on both matters. We don't need to change the rules. We don't need to be in a begging position seeking changes to the rules. Furthermore, changes to the rules won't really help in the end.

Lamb: "... placing civilians in administrative Police Bureau jobs can get more uniforms on the streets."

Better use of technology could get more information out the the neighborhor and others on the street.

Better use of traffic police, or a traffic division -- like crossing guards, could get more help out on the street. Crossing guards were paid and part of the police force. They gave us a big bang for the buck. They could have been doing some more enforcement, but that could be part of the program when they are put back into serious operation.

Better use of civilians throughout the city and region can get more assistance and understanding for the police and the struggles we all face. The civilian police academy was cut by Mayor Murphy. Bad move. The Civilian Police Academy could have been made into a stand-alone department that pulled its own weight financially. Creative management lags in Pittsburgh.

The end of the drug wars, especially against grass, could help get a lot more done in terms of overall safety.

High marks for Lamb to Lamb encourage participation with the Citizens Police Review Board, which has been largely ineffective without city government's support. My stance is along the same lines, but much more advanced. I'd not only encourage participation, it would be demanded.

The voters put the citizens police review board to Pittsburgh. It has been a joke -- due to the miss-management of the administration and others. The city council appointment to the board has done nothing in the past 16 month (or more). Nothing.

The citizens police review board isn't perfect. But, it needs to operate as it could and should for the first few years. Then it can evolve into the tool we all need and voted to create.

In 2001, both Carmine and I took the citizens police review board seriously. Murphy and O'Connor didn't lift a wimper on this topic.

Strong nods to Lamb too for his mention of technology with the building inspection duties. An overhaul of all tech components of government is needed. These efforts need to be rooted in the realm of open-source solutions.

Mt. Oliver is kicking Pittsburgh's tail in terms of building inspection, enforcement, and governmental cooperation among all parties. Great for Mt. Oliver -- as they are trying. Pittsburgh doesn't even care.

There is a lot to do in terms of inspection and enforcement in the city. Things go to hell around here and there isn't any way to get anyone to even care. The iron curtin in the city is alive and well in this area with a contrast to what occurs in suburban Pittsburgh.

The color and geneder of the police force. Murphy hired a few classes of recruits and they were mostly white guys. I'm a white guy too. Come on. This city's diversity among its workforce needs some attention.

This is a point, (diversity among police force recruits) to Bob O'Connor's credit, that he yapped about four years ago. It isn't getting much attention now because it was only a gottcha with O'Connor in 2001. Murphy's policy and performace was so bad that it was painfully obvious. Furthermore, in recent years, the police force has been shrinking, not expanding with new hires. A couple of new classes have been in the works. What are those numbers Bob? Do you care? Continue that conversation.

Is the diversity among the men and women in blue a point that served its purpose, like the citizens review board? Time to move on? Time to let it rest?

Don Walko, D., North Side, State Rep, wants to change the rules, making it more difficult for bounty hunters. Peduto wants to put parole enforcement into police cars. Perhaps the two can be talked about in the same discussion. Peduto should issue a release saying he does NOT like the Walko suggested rules.

The college credit elements for the job application process for the police was not talked about. Jim Motznik has some strong opinions on that topic.

I have great respect to the professionals working in Pittsburgh with Fire, Police and EMS. I am not close to any service group. All have been dumped upon by the present mayor. I think that each group could do more to remove him from office sooner and help with the discussions among our public landscape. But, they all are jaded. All are burnt out. All are pushed past the max -- mostly.

One of the biggest jokes is the concpet of a merger among EMS and the hospitals. Dream on. It took a major miracle to get 911 services to merge in nine years. There is no way they are going to be able to even start the conversation with EMS and hospitals, yet alone Fire.

Wellness is very important to me and our region. We need to allow these topics to be our strengths in the future. Now they all are liabilities.

I'm a lifeguad at heart and in my history. I understand that these endeavors are important and time based. Support needs to be present. Too many are running on empty. The interactions among managers, performers, citizens, customers and even things like BILLING are disjointed.

New relationships and understandings need to be forged. This is going to take time and lots of effort.

I'd rather have a mayor care more about the public service elements and less about the convention center hotel, retaining the Pirates, knocking down the Civic Arena, new condos in town, or making a re-do of the Gateway Center T-stop.

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