I just finished reading the Jan. 2 Enquirer and feel compelled to comment on two articles that stood out: "Chicago retains homicide record" (Page A3) and the editorial "Cutting homicides must be priority" (Page E8). While I certainly do not disagree with the editorial statement "Reducing Cincinnati's homicide rate in 2004 is a New Year's resolution that the city must keep," I question the remedies that are subsequently proposed.
When I see the data on homicides dropping in other large cities and read that it is attributed to aggressive policing and the application of cutting-edge information technology, I am confused as to why the Enquirer advocates committees, summits and the like. The facts suggest that police empowerment stabilizes neighborhoods - not City Council, not self-appointed community leaders, and apparently not the editorial board of The Cincinnati Enquirer, that continue to endorse policies that have failed for the past two years.
Chris Richard, Anderson Township
Police need citizens' help to do their jobs
As a former Westwood resident, I want to wish best of luck to the four black City Council members on the quest to fix the black-on-black crime problem in Cincinnati. As I see it, reinstating the police gang unit probably won't work as long as there are people in the community who want to blame the police for every incident that ends badly. The anti-gang unit will undoubtedly have confrontations with black gang members, ending in violence, injury and death.
You cannot expect to stop black-on-black crime when the police are constantly being prevented from doing their job. It is past time for concerned black citizens to stand and exclaim that enough is enough. Your neighborhoods are a war zone, and 99 percent of you are innocent bystanders. It is you who can help the police, the city and the misguided youth. Stop being the victim and become the victor.
Good luck, Cincinnati. This is one of the reasons I'm a former Cincinnatian.
Glen Voorhees, Cherry Grove
Promise police they won't be harassed
Perhaps those members of Cincinnati's City Council who seek money in an effort to combat a perceived social disease (black-on-black crime) should be reminded that those who perform the same activity over and over again, expecting to get a different result each time, are living in la-la land. Perhaps, instead of spending more money, they should make a contract with the police stating that the police will not be harassed for performing their duty for a period of one year. Then take a look at the result.
Since the problem has been worsening for at least the past five years, despite all the dollars spent on social engineering, what could it hurt to try something novel for just one year?
Frank Miller, Mason
Police need to stop illegal drug trade
Stop the Cincinnati street drug trade, and you will reduce the homicide rate. The cops say it, so why don't they do it?
Drive through any of the inner-city neighborhoods, east to west, north to south, any time of day or night, and the drug dealers walk right out in front of you to see what you want to buy. You have to wade through drug dealers to go to the hospitals or downtown.
Ten years ago we had a 75-member volunteer surveillance team and a concerned police administration that tried to keep the problem in check. Today, we have a mayor and police administration more concerned with politics and placating.
Jeff Murden, Winton Place
Parents must teach children better
There would not be all of this murdering with guns on Cincinnati streets if the parents knew how to instill in their children that crime is wrong. I think we do need prayer and the Ten Commandments, and the golden rule in our young children's upbringing by their parents; and teachers in the schools could reinforce it, if schools could be allowed to have a moral code in their curriculum.
Margaret Sonneman, Kenwood
FORUM: 2004 agenda
Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers
Police don't need more meetings
Re: Kentucky tobacco tax proposal
EDITORIAL PAGE HEADLINES
Tax repeal brings reality check
School-funding lawsuits cost taxpayers
Time to get real on Social Security
Letters to the editor