By Rick Denu (candidate for Aberdeen City Council)
The “Aberdeen Model” isn’t a Model at all!
The Aberdeen Mayor claims to have a “model law enforcement strategy”, which was only placed on paper weeks ago, that eliminates crime and now he wants to impose that ridiculous notion outside City limits; has crime been eliminated from Aberdeen?
Let me start by saying that Aberdeen’s Mayor is not a law enforcement professional, he is an insurance salesman whom became Mayor. He has absolutely no basis of knowledge to create, nor implement any crime model; that is the job of the Chief of Police.
The Mayor’s non-model of addressing criminal activity, revitalizing neighborhoods and implementing cameras in high crime areas has been in existence in many communities for decades and is not a strategy he should claim.
One irresponsible portion of the non-model camera system is that he has spent over one hundred thousand dollars without effectively planning the project. There was and is no plan, no competitive bidding, no future funding plan, no legislation to establish the program or use and no law enforcement policy regarding its use or mis-use.
Subsequently, the citizens of Aberdeen have paid for a very expensive camera system, which consists of two cameras to be exact and that are seldom monitored by any law enforcement officials. These facts are substantiated by the lack of any planning documents, bids, ordinances and or tangible law enforcement outcomes; not a model by any estimation.
The next failure of the Mayor is that of his “militaristic policing” approach. Civilian law enforcement is plainly not the military; something the military recognizes its-self. This is why there is legislation such as posse comiatus and why the military looks to civilian law enforcement professionals for strategies and personnel to perform policing functions. In the end policing is policing and the military is the military; they have two very separate schools of thought and separate desired outcomes. Perhaps this is why they have been two separate entities for centuries; again, another non-model.
As a Professional, Experienced and Schooled in Law Enforcement, I can certainly attest to the mission of proactively and reactively effecting social change and enforcing the laws of the land through the use of a highly structured criminal justice system. Strategies to address these issues and measure the success in that mission are ethically based long term reduction in the crime rates, ethical convictions of offenders and a reduction in the rate of recidivism; none of which we have under the non-model.
Aberdeen, it’s time to start looking at those issues which are always missing. The Chief of Police and now the Mayor tout the numbers of calls law enforcement respond to annually, displays photos of officers engaged in projects, the numbers of persons arrested and the scraps that fall in their laps from other agencies by way of money and used equipment. We can not and should not measure the success of our law enforcement against cheap political publicity ploys like “kicking in doors”, “cameras” and “a gun, radio and baton wielding Mayor (In any other circumstance we would call him a vigilante)” who is using his position to manipulate an arena of a Chief of Police; one we pay very handsomely I might add.
The missing issues are what anyone with a mission should consider, “beginning with the end in mind” and constantly measuring their success against that idea. The end results are something we seldom see from this administration and we should ask these questions: How do we generate and track calls for police service? What is the long term nature of crime in Aberdeen? What is the conviction rate of the Aberdeen Police Department? What are the amounts of assets seized vs. what we can keep under the law? What is the rate of recidivism? Do we analyze any of this information to seek proactive solutions to what may be a shortfall or what we see as ineffective? I, from long experience with law enforcement in Aberdeen can tell you, the answers are No or I don’t know. Aberdeen residents should know that those are the questions that we should have real and immediate answer to.
The moral of the story; Beware of snow jobs and political hype, the frightening truth often lies behind them.