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Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006 | When it comes to a short budget for police, I question why the costs of certain police actions are not recovered from the perpetrators.
It seems to me that those who incur the bulk of violent crimes should pay for the city’s expenses. Teenagers’ parents should be held liable to the dollar for the lack of parenting and adults should not be able to escape the full consequences of their actions.
Why should the law-abiding public bear the financial burden of those who violate the law? Serious crimes incur thousands of dollars per crime of police, administrative and ancillary costs.
A recent project in my neighborhood to eradicate drug dealers expended approximately $100,000 over a period of a year and although the problems were eradicated, the parties responsible for allowing the conditions to develop bore no financial responsibility. I called the City Attorney’s Office and asked the project leader if any of the cost was recovered and the response was “No, they did what we wanted them to do.” This is unacceptable. Those folks are back to profiting from their business enterprises, suffering little damage for their negligence, and we taxpayers picked up the tab.
I, therefore, propose that the city develop a fiscal responsibility program for law enforcement, treating these activities as the business that they are, and billing the causal persons for the damages, thereby shifting the burden to those who create it.