Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Real Crime-Fighting

NOPD finally comes up with an effective crime-fighting initiative. Bait bikes for opportunistic thieves to steal.

Every district should dedicate at least one team to do something like this every day for the next year, at least. While some folks will poo-poo the idea that going after bike thieves will cut down on other crimes, you have to remember that bike theft is a huge problem in this city in its own right. High profile initiatives to leave bikes unlocked and then arrest the thieves may make a few scoundrels think twice about a crime of opportunity, and that's a good thing.

Just wait until they figure out they could follow the thief for less than an hour and probably come across additional criminal activity.

And hopefully, this will work so well that NOPD will figure out how to use undercover officers as "mugger bait" in areas experiencing upticks in robberies. It is easier to catch a thief when you've got them on camera in front of officers specifically on the lookout.



patsbrother said...

I greatly prove of this move as well. I simply chime in to say I would NOT approve of mugger bait. I presume you would use a real human being as the bait. That is a recipe for disaster, considering a real gun would be in a real person's face. The likelihood of an officer fatality is not something a simple take-down (unless by "take-down" you mean "unhesitating sniper fire") could hope to prevent.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Oh? I guess we should leave the muggings to the unarmed, untrained civilians then?

patsbrother said...

Um, you do realize how this bait thing works right? The bike thieves TOOK the bike. Past tense.

If you do the same for muggers, that means that the cops will catch up with the perpetrator to arrest him AFTER the mugging.

I know good and brave cops, but I doubt they would volunteer (and I would think they were crazy to volunteer, if they did volunteer) to have a mugger put loaded guns in their faces. You know, on the off-hand chance they won't shoot, and that other officers will be able to apprehend them without violence to the officers.

Often, I think you lack rationality when you argue. In a bike baiting sting, the perpetrator gets the bike for five minutes and, once caught, the cops get the bike back. Awesome outcome!

In a mugger sting, a cop gets a gun in his face. If that ends badly, five minutes later, it still ended badly.

Your riposte is bizarre and pitiful. There is not a cosmic number of muggings or mugging deaths, such that an officer gets to take one for the team. You took a good idea to an irrational place that sounded good for half a second, but you won't let go. Does your response even make sense to you?

I vote to focus on other ways to stop muggings, in which officers work to stop muggings without actively trying to make themselves the next victims.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Umm, no. The idea isn't to substitute police victims for civilian victims. The idea is to set up undercover operations to apprehend criminals in the act.

Though considered a limited utility by police departments that deploy this strategy, it has been in the police playbook for years.

patsbrother said...

So has storming homes with SWAT Teams for unnecessary drug busts. Both represent what I see as unjustifiable risks to the officers (and, in the cases of the SWAT teams, to the residents). I don't think officers should do either.

If you can ask someone else to take a gun in his face for you, that's your business. If someone wants to be the bait, that's his decision; I cannot fathom encouraging it.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Undercover work is dangerous. Sting operations are dangerous. Police work is dangerous.

Police decoys are a tactic, a dangerous tactic, with limited utility, to be sure. But when neighborhoods are being terrorized by armed robbery crews nightly, and you don't have the community for eyes on the street and you don't have the police force to put an officer on every corner, you put your tactical options on the table.

Why would they work in NOLA? Because the robberies are being worked by the same crews, on the same population, in the same area, around the same times.

Riding around with police lights on? Hasn't worked. More police presence sitting in patrol cars? Hasn't worked. Questioning people walking down the street? Hasn't worked and has led to charges of harassment.

A new tactic is needed. As a citizen, yes, I ask my police force to find more effective tactics to solve the problems at hand.