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February 18, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-02-18

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9

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, February 18, 1981

The Michigan Daily

L

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Police and community:A new
partnership against city crime

Vol. XCI, No. 119

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI148109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Nazi comeback almost

laughable-
T FIRST IT SEEMS almost laugh-
able. Gerald Carlson, an ex-
Nazi, announced that he will take a
leave of absence from his work as a
private detective to run for the seat in
Congress vacated by David Stockman.
Stockman, of course, resigned from
Congress to accept his current position
as President Reagan's budget direc-
tor.
It seems laughable that a person
could seriously run for Congress in 1981
on a "white rights" platform. Carlson
says he hopes to represent Michigan's
4th District in Congress and defend the
ideals of white supremacy. Unfor-
tunately, however, Carlson cannot be
laughed off as a lunatic. Sadly, he must
be taken seriously.
Last year, Carlson won the
Republican nomination . in the
Congressional race in Michigan's 15th
District. Furthermore, in the general
election that year, Carlson received 32

but not quite
percent of that District's vote.
Why a respectable number of the
15th District voters would flock behind
such a man is a mystery, albeit a
frightening one. The open support of an
admitted racist and Nazi is
reminiscent of pre-war Germany when
the fledgling Nazi party was just
beginning to build power. It is hard to
believe that, after all we have learned,
a former Nazi would win the
nomination a major American political
party.
But, his surprising political success
is merely a part of a larger growing
trend to support racist organizations.
The comeback of the Ku Klux Klan, the
American Nazi Party, and even the
Moral Majority are all symbolic of
growing self-glorifying racism.
Carlson will not likely win Stock-
man's seat, but the concern over the
implications of his past success and his
current aspirations remains.

A year ago senior citizens in downtown
Atlanta's Capitol Homes housing project lived
in terror of a band of marauding teen-age
youths who snatched purses in broad
daylight, scaled walls at night to invade
bedrooms, and kept tenants - old and young,
black and white - cowering in their homes
after dark.
Now the robberies and burglaries have
ceased. Residents safely come and go pretty
much at any time of the day or evening.
"EVERYTHING HAS changed," says
Carrie Copeland, president of the Capitol
Homes Tenant Association. "You can walk
through here at night. Anybody can."
The key to the transformation - a minor
miracle in these days of rising crime - lay in
a new policy which enabled terants and police
to work together to end what amounted to an
eight-year crime wave in the public housing
project. The Atlanta Police Department is
pioneering the new approach, and police
argue it goes well beyond the old public
relations effort undertaken in the name of
"community relations" in the mid-1960s.
Many have argued these efforts seldom tran-
slated liberal rhetoric into actual police
policy.
"There has to be a change in power
relations," argues Lee Brown, the city's
Commissioner of Public Safety. "We have to
share power with the people we serve."
AT A TIME WHEN pessimism is the rule in
most discussions of crime - and political
leaders talk increasingly of hiring more
police and building more prisons as the only
plausible responses to an insoluble problem -
Brown is arguing that radically improved
community-police cooperation can lead to ac-
tual crime prevention.
But he claims that such cooperation
becomes possible only after a fundamental
transformation in police attitudes. According
to Brown, it was the reduction in police
shootings of citizens and the newly
cooperative posture of Atlanta police toward
the community - which set the climate for
the effort of tenants and police at Capitol
Homes.
The Capitol Homes effort began last May at
the initiation of tenant association leaders,
who invited Brown to a meeting on crime
problems.
SOON, TENANT association leaders began
walking the grounds twice nightly. Leaflets
were circulated by the tenant's group to
residents, urging them to keep an eye out for
neighbors and to look after their children
with special care. And a bargain was struck
with residents whereby police agreed to
respond to citizen calls with special vigilance

By Patrick Glynn

in exchange for information about crimes.
With the assurance of tenant support,
meanwhile, police initiated foot patrols in the
area. They spoke to families of the youths
concerned. Some arrests were made. "The
message went out," says Brown, "that crime
would not be tolerated either by the com-
munity or by the police." In two months, says
Copeland, the situation was completely tur-
ned around. "The police department is won-
derful," she says now.
Yet relations between citizens and police in
Atlanta were not always so amicable.
Copeland notes that when the crime problem
first started in the housing project eight years
ago, residents would never have contem-
plated turning to the police for help. At that
time, police-community relations were tense,
citizen complaints of police brutality were
common, and officer-involved shootings were
a frequent occurence.
POLICE POLICIES changed in 1974 with
the mayoral election of Maynard Jackson,
who ran on an anti-police brutality platform.
Brown was appointed Commissioner in 1978.
Under his leadership, the Atlanta department
initiated a variety of programs designed to
improve relations between citizens and police
and to involve the community in crime prev-
ention efforts. And it appears now to be
paying off.
The Atlanta experience bucks a nation-
wide trend toward police-community an-
tagonism. According to the U.S. Justice
Department's Community Relations Service,
citizen allegations of excessive use of force by
police nearly doubled between FY 1979 and
FY 1980, from 69 to 133. Complaints of
racial incidents between police and citizens
rose similarly from 108 to 206.
Between 1965 and 1975 millions of federal.
dollars poured into police departments,
bringing extensive improvements in the
technological "hardware" of policing.
"THE IMPROVEMENTS in hardware
were useful," says Gerald Caplan, former
head of the Justice Department's National In-
stitute for Law Enforcement and Criminal
Justice. "But it shows that even the best run
bureaucracies don't make much of a dif-
ference in controlling crime."
Hiring more police, he claims, will not
reduce crime. "That's just the politicians'
non-response," he says.
Brown stresses that in real life police do not
actually "solve" crimes. Instead, he says,
they depend almost entirely on citizens to
report incidents, identify criminals, and

ultimately testify in court.
Caplan, who has served as consultant on
crime to Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (R-
Utah), notes that the issue of race is central in
the conflict. But while he agrees that "blacks
have had damn good reasons for fearing the
policy," he faults black leaders for not
making crime more of an issue.
"THERE'S PROBABLY still an inverse
ratio between those who are affected by
crime and those who are worrying about it,"
he says.
Others, like American Enterprise Institute
fellow Robert Woodson, dispute that con-
clusion. Woodson argues that crime has
always been a paramount issue among
blacks, who suffer disproportionately from its
effects. But he says that police abuses have
left blacks with few alternatives for addressing
the issue.
"It's always been a dilemma for blacks," he
says. "They have to balance fear of crime with
fear of the police."
In an August poll of its readership, Black
Enterrprise magazine found that blacks were
"seriously concerned about the effects of
crime on society" and predicted black
Americans would "become substantially
more conservative on the crime issue in the
1980s." But while 90.1 percent of the
predominatly middle-class respondents saw
crime as a "major problem," fully 85.8 per-
cent agreed that police brutality was a major
concern as well.
"YOU CAN'T EXPECT a community to be
cooperating with a police department which
is abusing them," obseryes Atlanta's Brown.
Brown says that police shootings of citizens
have decreased radically in Atlanta in recent
years.
In a report prepared for the Justice Depar-
tment in the wake of a riot in Miami's Liberty
City last May, H. Jerome Miron of University
Research Corp. argued that traditional police
responses to rising tension - such as flooding
streets With patrols - actually escalate the
problem. The report also proposed "sharing
power" as a means of easing tensions bet-
ween police and community.
"You'd be amazed at how much ingenuity
and brilliance you have in the community,"
says Hubert Williams, the black Police Direc-
tor of Newark, New Jersey, where another
power sharing policy - combined with an
emphasis on toughness - also proved suc-
cessful. "The educators and the experts are
not the only ones with knowledge.
Patrick Glynn, an Atlanta free lance
writer, wrote this article for the Pacific
News Service.

'w

James Bond excitement-
but it really happened

T HE . SOVIET SECRET police
break into an American at-
tache's room and find him in a com-
promising position with a woman.
A little unbelievable, maybe? But it
gets even better. -
The KGB takes pictures of the
married man and, sources say, plans
to use the photographs to get the man
to release classified information to the
Soviet Union and become a spy. e
Sound like a James Bond movie?
Well, it's not. Maj. James Holbrook, an
army attache at the U.S. Embassy in
Moscow, was placed in such a
situation.
It's refreshing to find out that things
like these don't only happen in the
movies. It gives the fascinating tales of
intrigue and espionage a little validity.
And it gives the foreign service some

spice - makes it more appealing to the
romantics among us.
Unfortunately, Holbrook had the bad
taste to end the real-life dramatics.
Instead of becoming a Soviet spy,
Holbrook immediately reported his
predicament to his superiors, thus
spoiling the entire plot.
He could have carried it out a bit fur-
ther. He could have become a double
agent - dealing with a Russian Mata
Hari. He could have planned high
speed boat chases across the Black
Sea; or flung another spy from an ejec-
tor seat onto Red Square. But alas, no
such luck.
On Jan. 17, Holbrook returned to the
United States. He's reportedly under
consideration for a post on the staff of
Vice President George Bush as a
specialist in Soviet affairs. Seems ap-
propriate.

'

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by Robert Lence
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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Defense spending and the free market

To the Daily:
Mark Gindin's "Moral defense
of the free market" (Daily, Feb.
17) was the sort of unsubstan-
tiated rhetoric he identifies with
liberal intellectuals.
The facts are that while
Reagan forces cuts in public ser-
vice sectors of government, he
increases interference in the
market with large military ex-
penditures.
According to the Employment
Reseach Association report on
the impact of military spending
on inflation and jobs, Reagan is
doing terrible harm to the so-
called "free market". Military
expenditures are inflationary.
Buying power is created while
few consumer goods are made.
Inflation is further fueled by the
high cost over-runs incurred in
military production-333 percent

spending creates only 45,800 jobs,
although the same amount spent
for public service employment
would create 98,000 jobs.
Michigan State University Prof.
James Anderson states in a pam-
phlet published by the Committee
to Implement Jobs with Peace
Initiative, "the military budget is
responsible for an overall loss of
1,440,000 jobs."
To correct the unemployment it
creates, ,the Pentagon must
regulate the labor market.
Financially deperate people are
forced into the army, and others
are sucked into the army by the
draft.
What we get for all this robbery
and regulation is garbage:
Nuclear weapons, which woule be
suicidal to use; Sensitive
machinery that chokes on desert
sands; Military intervention in

tual stimulation I have a long
reading list for him. In the mean-
time, he is free to indulge in
vacuous "moral defenses" of a

system which his ignorance
might help destroy.
-John D. Erdevig
February 17

11

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