90% of crimes, non-violent

I live in a place called North Port, FL. The county government says that we have 53K people living here. I’m not so sure anymore because there are at least 3 vacant homes on every street. Cape Coral and North Port were the two fastest growing cities in FL from 2002 until 2008. Now you can buy a house in Cape Coral for 19K and about 4 or 5 thousand homes here in NP are empty waiting to be put on the market.

Anyway, the crime numbers are extremely scary. Not scary if you worry about real crime like shootings, murder, rape etc what is scary about it is that North Port reported 81 crimes in the last six months involving violence against a victim and 760 crimes not involving violence. These 760 crimes are not entirely victimless because there are many theft cases and damage to property, but most of them were totally victimless crimes.

What is scary about these numbers, is that any time there is a police encounter, there is the possibility of a violent act upon a citizen by the State. We are also paying $3200 per arrest, just in Leo salary, not counting overhead, court costs, administrative fees and retirement and retirement health benefits. We are probably paying close to $10,000 per arrest, and $38,000 per arrest involving violence.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090731/VIDEO/907312004&template=video

And for what? Going through a stop sign? For having a pot pipe?  For a .09 BAC? For contempt of cop? For public urination? Where the heck are they supposed to urinate? At the judge’s house? And what happens when these people get arrested? The court can’t wait to get them out of the lockup because there is no room left. The court can not afford to give them a lawyer, so the court can’t even sentence them to jail time, even though the poor people spend days in jail because they can’t come up with 200 bucks for bail. And nobody in the family is going to come up with the bail money because they know the game now: the court is going to confiscate the bail money for “costs”.

Why is this important to regular citizens like us. Nobody cares when other peoples’ rights are violated, only when their own are violated.

What is important is that if we neglect to protect the rights of the weak, pretty soon they (them) will be coming after us.

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