Friday, March 14, 2008

Anti-drug efforts haven't worked

The Montgomery Advertiser is running an LTE today that I sent in recently.

Anti-drug efforts haven't worked

In response to "Drug Raid Nets Arrests Across the County" (03/07) I found a number of things very disturbing.

In January, Sgt. Jim Henderson vice president of the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association began protesting the federal government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces ineffective.

When have they ever been effective? Every year the number of drug arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises. If the tactics employed by Sgt. Henderson and other drug warriors were working, then shouldn't those numbers be going down?

Should they be rewarded for repeated failure with more cash? Only in government does something as asinine as rewarding failure happen. In the private sector they would be unemployed.

This article seemed to imply that execution of warrants was delayed in order to create a big media scene. I guess the safety and well-being of the public is only important when there is a government welfare check involved and when there is a media camera nearby.

Doesn't sound to me like they did this in the interest of public safety, but more as a measure of job security. But then again the drug war itself is job security. It is meant to be waged and not won.

The cops have no real interest in ridding their communities of drugs. If they were successful, that welfare check would dry up and they would be out of a job.

Drug task forces are equivalent to people who abuse the welfare system. Instead of doing real police work on serious crimes like murder, rape, child sex assault, robbery and vehicle theft they focus on rounding up low-level, nonviolent drug users because it's easy. And they get a government welfare check for doing so.

The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center reports that crime clearance rates for 2005 were 19 percent. The drug warrior welfare cuts should be looked upon as a good thing.

Perhaps now police will get to work on solving real crimes.
Loretta Nall
Alexander City

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