The Thin Blue Line

The thin blue line is increasingly difficult to walk.

Our American system of Law and Order in under attack. Some laws are followed while others are completely ignored.
How does one raise socially conscience, critically thinking, responsible stewards of our World and environment in these difficult times?

Here are a few things that I have done in my life and with my children.

#1 Get to know your local officers/deputies.  Take their business card.

#2 Ask what their schedule is, record on back of card.

Don’t be afraid to call.  Have several contacts in Law Enforcement.

Consider establishing a Neighborhood Watch or Citizen Volunteer Patrol in your area.

Your computer can be a powerful resource.  Keep the Sex Offender List website on your favorites bar and remember to check it frequently.  In California Megan’s Law

Get to know your neighbors.  Distribute cookies, seed packets of local varieties, fresh local coffee-  Along with your card! *I would limit the amount of information on your personal card, cell number only.

I always use the question:  If not you, Who?  If not now, When? I do not want to wait until it’s too late.

You know, I write a lot about personal responsibility.  That’s because I believe ownership of the issue can eventually take care of the problem or challenge.

I implore people to get involved in your community.  Get to know your elected officials.  Look at your city, town, and neighborhood.  Really look at it.  Do you know who cleans the streets?  Delivers your mail?  Keeps your streets lights glowing?  You should!

Understand, that beginning in 2007 there has been an erosion of property values.  That translates to less money for our cities and communities to work with.

However, during that same time period crime begins to rise.  But, cities were already struggling with bloated pensions, begin to cut back on staff to compensate.

In California we pass AB109  Prison Realignment.  Generally, the idea is to shift low level offenders to local jurisdictions.

So, we have the perfect storm.  Economy faltering, less income, higher crime, more criminals on our local streets, less ‘cops’ on the ground due to budget constraints.  Ripples through every level of our society.

Sounds like a hopeless situation, right?  Wrong!  There is always hope.  There must be the community will to get the job done, and done right.

Once you get involved, things will begin to open up for you.  Opportunities to meet the people who make the decisions for you!  Sometimes, the relationship that the city council has with their management team can be the best place to start.

What I have learned:  Having involved, active, passionate, civic minded leaders can make the difference.  The city council I serve on recently made a very small change in the calculation and compensation rates for future new employees, completely changing the overall long term affect to our budget.  It was a small change, carefully negotiated, thoroughly researched, that changed a liability into a asset!

These changes can happen in any community!  I say, stand up and take responsibility for your communities!  Start a neighborhood watch program and decide that this is where you take your stand!

I will end with a quick person note.  When I moved to my community, I joined our local Citizen Volunteer Patrol.  After being fingerprinted, and background checked by the FBI, I had my hat and shirt that proudly proclaimed Sheriff Office Volunteer.  One of the many duties  our volunteers are called upon for assistance is during parades.  The volunteers work closely with Sheriff Office cadets.  These are young men and women who are just starting out in their career as law enforcement officers.  Typically, they are recently out of high school.  One of the great pleasures of my service is to see these young men and women start from modest beginnings, and rise through the ranks to come back to their home town to Serve and Protect us!  I have seen this with many individuals now, and it always makes me swell with pride!

If you look around your community and wonder what the heck is going on, do not hesitate to GET INVOLVED.  We can all point fingers, but how many will jump in and help?  If your community has experienced budget shortfalls, and an increase in violent crime, strong and unafraid solutions should be carefully considered.  No one wants to pay more in taxes, but sometimes this is the best solution.  Let the people decide, by vote.  And the courageous public servant who brings the idea to the table should not be vilified!







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