Could the Tragic Death of Maddie Kiefer been Avoided ---- Topic Revisited in Light of Current Discussions on Integrating All Northshore Police Under One Dispatch
THIS POSTING WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BACK IN JULY OF THIS YEAR --- IT QUESTIONS WHETHER THE NORTHSHORE CAN HAVE BETTER POLICE PROTECTION AT A LOWER COSTS BY COMBINING THE DEPARTMENTS.
SHORTLY AFTER POSTING, FLOODING BECAME THE BIG ISSUE ---- BUT NOW THAT IT HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED THAT ALL THE NORTHSHORE DEPARTMENTS ARE CONSIDERING ONE JOINT DISPATCH CENTER ---- I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT CONSOLIDATION.
IF ALL THE DEPARTMENTS ARE GOING TO BE DISPATCHED FROM ONE CENTRAL POINT --- WOULDN'T THAT BE "DE FACTO" ONE DEPARTMENT --- OR AT LEAST ONE CENTRALIZED SERVICE.
IF THE CENTRAL DISPATCH RECEIVES A HIGH PRIORITY EMERGENCY CALL FOR SERVICE IN WHITEFISH BAY AND THE NEAREST RESPONDER IS A SHOREWOOD SQUAD --- WOULDN'T THEY HAVE THAT SQUAD RESPOND.
IT SEEMS THAT WITH CENTRAL DISPATCH, WE WILL GET EFFICIENCIES IN BOTH MONEY AND PRODUCTIVITY --- BUT WE WILL STILL HAVE THE EXPENSE OF 7 DIFFERENT CHIEFS, ADMINISTRATIONS, ETC.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING RE-POSTING AND IF YOU THINK IT MIGHT MAKE SENSE TO COMBINE THE DEPARTMENTS --- CALL YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND ASK THEM TO DO A COMPREHENSIVE AND OBJECTIVE THIRD PARTY STUDY ON THE TOPIC.
ORIGINALLY POSTED JULY 17, 2010
Matthew Laughrin, who ran a drug house in Whitefish Bay, where Maddie Kiefer got some of the drugs that killed her, was just sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Maddie Kiefer’s death from a drug overdose may have been inevitable, sooner or later. But there were several aspects that woulda, coulda, shoulda been handled differently, that might have changed the tragic outcome it came to.
Drug use by teens in the Northshore Suburbs has been around for the past 40 years that I know of. But 40 years ago, it was mostly marijuana and beer, and possibly some hallucinogens. Hard drugs like cocaine and heroin were looked down at by the teens then, in some ways they were better educated about the dangers of what were then considered ghetto drugs.
Over the past few years, however, ghetto drugs have come to the suburbs. Once unheard of deaths from heroin and other hard drug overdoses, are now all too common, in every community.
What has not changed, however, are the resources that the various police departments have to combat this new problem.
Ironically if a bunch of teens are having a late night party with alcohol, if becomes a major enforcement action for the police. Forty years ago, there wasn’t that kind of reaction unless there was an all out brawl going on. Back then the drinking age was 18 and police thought they had higher priorities than dispatching 5 squads to chase teenagers into the night.
The new problem with hard drugs in the suburbs is that it is not as easy to find a drug dealer, as it is to find a bunch of teens at a late night party. It takes different skills and techniques, and it takes more manpower.
In an interview with Whitefish Bay police chief Jacobs with blogger Kevin Buckley (4/15/09), Buckley said “I’ve heard from many people, who have decried police priorities, suggesting instead of having squads catching speeders, they should have been parked outside Laughrin’s house”
Chief Jacobs responded “But my first year in WFB, people said the PD wasn’t taking traffic and pedestrian safety seriously, and to put more emphasis on that. You try to make best use of resources, but there will always be people who suggest you shouldn’t be doing this, do that instead”.
In my opinion, Chief Jacobs is exactly on target when he refers to limits because of the resources that are available.
The questions are whether we are using all the resources we can? Can we make more resources available? Can we do so more efficiently and without a huge increase in costs?
The answer is YES – we can create more and better police resources. We can use them more efficiently, and we can do so without incurring a huge increase in costs, and probably even do so with a decrease in overall costs.
But ONLY if the Northshore Suburbs come to the realization that they need to WORK TOGETHER …….. And ONLY if our elected and appointed officials STOP DEFENDING THEIR TURF!
I you take the following population of the 6 following suburbs (Bayside 4232, Brown Deer 12170, Fox Point 7012, Glendale 13367, and Whitefish Bay 13508) you have a total of only 50, 289 residents!
That is only slightly more than Wauwatosa with 47,791.
Yet Wauwatosa has one police force.
Our 6 Northshore Suburbs have 6 police chiefs, 6 police stations, 6 lockups, 6 fleets of squads, 6 trainers, etc., etc ………..
Maybe more importantly, is that the 6 Northshore Suburbs have (depending upon how you count them) at least 9 different municipal boundaries to deal with. And as we have seen, crime like the spread of hard drugs, does not respect boundaries.
If there was a Northshore Police Department, without adding any additional personnel, there could be a Drug Unit, which could concentrate resources on known drug houses, such as the one that Matthew Laughrin ran in Whitefish Bay, where Maddie Kiefer got some of the drugs that killed her.
We could have a larger Detective Bureau, that could concentrate more on crimes like identity theft, and have personnel trained in specialty areas, such as homicide.
Traffic enforcement resources could actually be enlarged, and areas of concern could be targeted with saturation patrols.
And more personnel could be put on the streets for true Community Policing.
The World is constantly changing --- Smart People Know How to Adapt to that Change in a Positive Way.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? YOUR COMMENTS, BOTH PRO AND CON ARE WELCOME!