Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be afraid! Don't go out at night! Boo!

I was notified of this email sent to the Midtown Neighbors Association from Atlanta Police Major Khirus William:
Please read this e-mail and alert our citizens that we had robberies and multiple car jackings throughout the City of Atlanta (metro wide) last night, including your area.

Please, let us all keep our exterior lights on to illuminate the area. This makes the area unpopular for criminals!

Also, please have your family, friends, and neighbors to blow their horn when arriving. This allows us to watch for them until they arrive, inside, safely. Open the window dressings and hi-light them with a flash-light. Thus, the criminal element would be aware that someone is watching!

Furthermore, we have to minimize just visiting in the drive way, or sidewalks, at nights. I know that this is unfair, but the criminals are becoming more brazen and this is their method of attack.. Patrols throughout the City are not as common as they were in the past, as a result of furloughs.

In closing, we have to do things differently than we did in the past, until there is a change. Please, let us minimize the opportunity for us to become victims and assist others as they return home.

Major Khirus E. Williams | Zone 5 commander | 200 Spring Street | Atlanta, Ga. 30303 | 404.658.7054
It seems like there is a disconnect between top brass, who say that crime isn't rising, and the folks actually doing the police work. I guess Major Williams, as a zone commander, would be closer to "top brass" than a patrol officer, but his email seems to fly against Chief of Police Pennington's statements that crime isn't up, just people's perceptions of crime (he's never really going to live that one down).

I shouldn't really try to read tea leaves to figure out what is going on at that place. I read that email and it felt like I should just buy a gun for when I'm walking the dog at night. And I'm pretty freaking liberal! Now, I'm not actually going to get a gun, but seriously, the message I got was, "Don't go out after dark, carry a flashlight, and be very afraid!" I know that citizens have to be a part of the solution, and keeping lights on is pretty common-sense behavior, but the cumulative effect of the email was rather alarming. Who wants to live somewhere where you feel like you can't go out at night and you have to constantly be on guard?

Combine that with the lady who got stabbed going for a jog in the morning.... what the fuck, man? It did not feel that dangerous growing up here, and I spent a LOT of time in my teens wandering around in areas I shouldn't at night. Maybe a lot of that was youthful ignorance and feelings of invincibility, but this city just did not feel that scary.

Maybe it is just all about perception, and alarmist emails and sensational stories about attacked joggers just inflame fears. That's the appeal of being a gun owner, I guess - not feeling like you are ignorant to the fact that crime exists, but refusing to sit passively by and be taken for a sap. Surely there is another option beyond what the police are offering, which is, "Be afraid to go out at night."

1 comment:

  1. Major Khirus William's email today was awful and I believe him but don't want to. This isn't good.

    The stabbing on Briarcliff - good grief - nobody is ever there. How could a jogger and "knifer" be there at the same time?

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