Monday letters: Put more police on the streets

November 18, 2013 

C. MICHAEL BERGEN

— Increased violence in Five Points is said to be due to hoodlums hanging around to intimidate students and cause trouble. If it were a gang turf issue, there would be graffiti on the buildings as per Sheriff Leon Lott’s presentations to citizens. There doesn’t appear to be any graffiti. So it must be loitering hoodlums.

So what’s the solution? In New York, Los Angeles and other crime-ridden communities, putting more police officers on the streets reduces crime. If more police officers were on the streets in Five Points at night, it would make students et al feel safe and push out the loitering hoodlums.

This is a growing problem, but apparently the Columbia police chief hasn’t made correcting it a priority. Actually, in other cities, it’s the mayor who invoked the “more police officers on the street” policy. Has anyone approached the mayor’s office and demanded action? When the people attend Columbia City Council meetings and make it an issue, the mayor will listen.

Jim Burton

West Columbia

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