Thursday, October 18, 2007

Call 9-1-1 as the P-G's first editorial on candidates ran today

From people & vips

The Post-Gazette editorial board is getting to the task of publishing its editorials on each of the campaigns slated for the November 6th ballot. The first one is about city council district one.
District 1: North Side: "Councilwoman Darlene Harris has not always been a favorite of ours."
Nor is she a favorite of mine.

I talked with Dave on the phone after the editorial board meeting. It was held just the other day.

Going into the meeting he had high hopes as to what he might expect. The P-G had some great things to say about David in the past. But, the citizenship thing was a problem for them, as an unreasoned objection. Now that the citizen matter has been resolved, there was no reason to think he wouldn't get the endorsement.

The other pressure element comes into play when the P-G endorsement meeting is the LONE meeting with both candidates throughout the entire campaign. Do or die situations, one-time deals, all-the-eggs in one basket approaches are not preferable. Rather, I want to have a sustained conversation. I'm not into one-night stands, nor blind dates, yet alone prescribed marriages.

The hunger to unseat Darlene Harris must have been visible. There is no shame in that, if you ask me. But, the P-G saw it in a different light. How many of the P-G editorial board live in the city? How many have a good understanding of what happens and what doesn't on a week-in and week-out basis within council chambers?

I've watched Darlene in action. I'd be thrilled to have her replaced. But, she does have a long resume. And, her school district board service is nothing to rest her reputation upon.

The mention of the need for citizens to carry an I.D. comes from David's work as a 9-1-1 operator. His work puts him in the mix as police and citizens interact on the streets. Dispatching back up, moving officers to the night court with company and doing research on identities is all part of his job in moment to moment communications.

I raised this exact issue just two weeks ago at the South Side Forum Meeting. I asked about the police policy for releasing or removing a person with charges when on the streets.

Just a while ago the police and citizens, on our street, stopped a person who was making trouble. Once it was vandalism and an aborted auto theft. The other time the person nabbed by the police had assulted a person. Witnesses were there. The police were there, and in charge of the situations. The alleged troublemaker in both instances was without an I.D. Hello Jane Doe.

The perp walks each time.

Citations were issued, but to who?

The police spokespeople at the South Side meeting explained it to us. There are three types of violations. On the first two, citations are issued on the spot and everyone goes home. This might take 40-minutes of noisy chatter outside our windows, but everyone gets to depart the scene without going to jail, night court or the police station.

Seems that the police do their best to ascertain the identity of the person with pointed questions and a link back to the dispatchers. Social Security numbers, address, birthdays, etc. are discovered. If something sounds fishy -- they leave the scene together.

David's call for the need to carry an I.D. would fix this entire quagmire of 20-questions on the street with Jane and John Doe.

If you are grabbed by the police after a fight and don't have an I.D. on you -- take that person to the police station until a positive I.D. arrives. Same with attempted auto theft and vandalism.

Dave and I talked about his solution idea that makes it mandatory to carry an I.D. He knew that I'd be cold to the idea, given my libertarian perspectives. Dave does have a great point. And, his solution makes life easier for those who otherwise must play 20-questions with Jane Doe on the streets at 2 or 3 in the morning.

It seems to me that if you are going to go out and graffiti a bridge, you might not want to bring your I.D. It might slow you in your escape. And, if caught, it might be used against you when an alternative name, address and identity could be used.

It is an instance when a 'digital camera' with the police might be a perfect solution.

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