Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have spent the last few days defending the Fayetteville Police Department's judgment, and then they go and do something like this. Big picture in the Northwest Arkansas Times today with Captain Kenny Yates showing off the take in a marijuana bust in Fayetteville, as if that has anything to do with protecting the public from serious crime or injury. More people have died this year from careless drivers at crosswalks in our city than from selling or smoking weed, yet who gets sent to jail?.
Fayetteville Police and the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force seem to go for the easy picking of dope smokers while the real dangers of methamphetamine manufacturing appear to go virtually ignored and unchecked. These boys who like their toys. Helicopters, Tasers, and night goggles come to mind as what happens when agencies get too much funding and have too much time on their hands. It is like an addiction.
It is also a huge waste of tax dollars. As I have noted before, the City is set to spend $475, 562 for a Drug Enforcement Program that is expected to produce only $12,000 in fines and forfeitures. That's no way to run a city. Greenland and Johnson make far more than that on their speed trap operations. Admittedly, some of this huge inefficient budget comes from a federal grant, but we are still dumping in $233,000 in city general revenues for a failed War on Drugs started under a previous mayor. Let's take a pass on the federal funds and save our money.
Let's also get a grip on what crimes should be priorities for enforcement in a time of limited financial resources. Our constabulary should be allowed to focus on serious offenses instead of being diverted by suits taking federal money for frills.