Mov­ing prob­lem around isn’t a so­lu­tion

Lethbridge Herald - - READER’S FORUM -

Two news fea­tures ap­pear­ing in the Sept. 11 Her­ald proved an ex­er­cise in con­tra­dic­tion.

On the front page, Po­lice Chief Davis, in the ar­ti­cle “Po­lice chief rec­om­mends ‘The Watch’ pro­gram to help cope with opi­oid cri­sis,” states in that piece, “We can staff ap­pro­pri­ately to be con­stantly dis­plac­ing drug users and crime,” and fur­ther along stat­ing that un­til there’s “in­sti­tu­tions in place” to deal with it and leg­is­la­tion that will al­low people to be turned over to those in­sti­tu­tions, the “best we can do is con­stantly dis­place it.” I can’t ac­cept these words are fac­tu­ally based nor in align­ment with “Cana­dian val­ues.”

I take Chief Davis’ words to mean there cur­rently is no leg­is­la­tion to con­trol these crimes. There aren’t suf­fi­cient “in­sti­tu­tions in place” ei­ther! So the mit­i­ga­tion he pro­poses is that cit­i­zens cough up $250,000 an­nu­ally to or­ga­nize a team of un­paid com­mu­nity snitches to supplement the tough and dan­ger­ous work of­fi­cers are trained to deal with. This sup­pos­edly will keep crime drift­ing from place to place, as the chief prefers to “dis­place” the crime, the crim­i­nal and the anar­chy.

On A2, same is­sue, is a story, “Sus­pect ar­rested in poi­son­ing case at car deal­er­ship.” In Toronto, po­lice charged a per­son with the crimes of “at­tempted mur­der” and “ad­min­is­ter­ing a nox­ious sub­stance.” Al­legedly a 20-year-old placed an­tifreeze in a wa­ter bot­tle, which was sub­se­quently con­sumed, caus­ing mo­men­tary dis­com­fort.

So we have in this coun­try laws, statutes, leg­is­la­tion, suf­fi­cient of­fi­cers, courts, etc. in place to deal with a goof ad­min­is­ter­ing an­tifreeze, but haven’t the leg­is­la­tion, per­son­nel on the ground nor in­sti­tu­tions, ar­rest­ing pow­ers, etc. to re­move from a com­mu­nity drug deal­ers who kill thou­sands each year with the plethora of killing “nox­ious sub­stances” they “ad­min­is­ter”! In­stead we pro­pose to deal with crim­i­nals and their ac­tiv­i­ties by mov­ing “it” around through­out the com­mu­nity, em­ploy­ing a civil­ian posse.

I’ve never felt more help­less, felt less safe, nor been more dis­ap­pointed in an ad­min­is­tra­tion lo­cally, provin­cially and fed­er­ally than I am presently!

Alvin W. Shier

Leth­bridge

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