Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee, Greece Police!

In recent weeks, various media reported that large crowds of youths gathered daily at the Liberty Pole in the city. Cameras were relocated to help authorities keep watch over the crowds that city police try to disperse quickly. With limited resources & manpower, that's not always possible.

Along with the warmer weather, it seems like the crowds that gathered downtown began congregating at Charlotte Beach about a week before the long Memorial Day holiday weekend. Large crowds in the parking lots on the weekends became unruly and police intervention was needed to get them to disperse. Business owners are complaining about the overall need for improved security in the area as an ongoing need.

On Memorial Day weekend, Seabreeze closed its doors on one of their biggest business days of the season. Rumors of a large planned fight are thought to be the root cause of the closing.

Monday night in Greece, some 200 teens to young 20-somethings appeared quickly at the Festival For Youth at Greece Ridge Mall. It was reported that they became loud, were pushing people in line, and that different groups seemed to be trying to antagonize each other into some sort of physical confrontation. The festival was shut down early ... and forever.

The message is clear: The thugs are now in charge, given power by those who don't want to say or do anything that's politically incorrect, so they choose to do nothing at all.  

Closing down an event is the easy way out. While I understand the need to be careful in how these incidents are handled, I do not agree that canceling events forever is the "right" decision. It's creating a certain "A Clockwork Orange" feeling regarding local law enforcement, or lack there of. 

What Greece police (and other PDs) need to begin to do is to tune-in and use the new media to their advantage. From Craigslist's Rants 'n Raves section to Facebook & MySpace to Twitter, large groups are able to organize and convene on short order. Moving Monday's location from Seabreeze to Greece (if that is what happened) is easy to do via social media outlets.

It's time our PD get up to speed in using these technologies to their advantage and for our safety. It's a crime prevention tool that doesn't cost a thing. It just requires the motivation to take back control. (Doing so might also require GPD to call in back-up help from Monroe County Sheriff's or other agencies in times of need. Sharing the limelight is OK, too.) Let's do it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since they all got to the mall on the bus, the service must be pretty good.