GUEST COMMENTARY: Stop the STOP Team

2013-09-10T00:00:00Z 2013-12-12T14:01:13Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Stop the STOP TeamBy Eric Krieg nwitimes.com
September 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Times propaganda machine has come out in support of the “STOP Team," a scheme where suburban police officers are used to patrol north Lake County cities. I’d like to say stop, and let’s examine if the STOP Team is a good idea.

In the Schererville Crime Watch this week, there was a report from Schererville officers on a STOP Team patrol in Gary. At 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, the officers saw a van full of people blow a light right in front of them. They pulled the van over, and the driver was drunk. One of the many passengers said he had to go to the bathroom, and while doing so ran away. He ran because he had a gun.

Who is paying for this program? Who pays if a Schererville police officer is hurt in Gary, or, God forbid, killed? Who pays if a Schererville police officer makes a mistake and gets sued? If a Gary resident feels that his rights were violated by a suburban police officer, what recourse does he have?

These are all questions that are glossed over by The Times in their unthinking quest to “do something” about the spike in murders in Gary. But with the STOP Team doing nothing more than “stopping” trivial crimes (Thank God that guy with the warrant out for littering is off the street!) I question this rationale.

It is somewhat clear why there’s a spike in murders in Gary: Something is going on with the drug gangs. It is one gang member killing another. Gary residents know who committed these murders. If they informed the police, the murderers would be off the streets. But Gary residents refuse to help the police. Why should outsiders help those who don’t help themselves?

What about cost? Suburban resources are yet again being used to bail out the failed cities. It’s like the Lake County income tax, or E-911, which are massive money transfers from suburb to city. I didn’t vote for that, did you?

Policing must do more than assuage feelings of liberal guilt on The Times editorial board. The STOP Team must be stopped.

Eric Krieg lives in Munster. The opinions are the writer's.

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