Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nice arrest, but help needed

Just a few hours ago, the officers of the Northeast Team made a nice arrest. They got a tip from an alert citizen who reported a couple guys prowling cars in the area of 36th and Huntington. Officer Don Hunt talked to the witness , then started checking the area. About eight blocks away, he spotted a black Chevy Beretta driving eastbound. There was good lighting at this location, which is a retail area, and Don saw that the driver matched the description given by the suspect.

After making the stop, and identifying the two occupants, the arrest was made. It looks like these subjects had entered several cars looking for goods to steal. The two defendants, ages 21 and 22, are not strangers to the Lincoln Police Department. They have both been arrested many times, both as juveniles and adults. In fact, both of these men were just arrested on August 9th doing exactly the same thing a couple miles away. They each have eight charges pending from that arrest. Both were lodged in jail, but apparently were released on the same day.

So there's two places we need some help. First, we need citizens to continue to help us by being alert to suspicious behavior and calling us. In both the August 9th arrest and this morning's arrest, watchful citizens made our day. Second, we need some help from the rest of the criminal justice system in making sure that repeat offenders face increasingly severe sanctions. That's something where consistency is sorely lacking. It sometimes seems to police officers that arresting people like this just increases their cost of doing business, causing them to need to commit even more crime to pay their new expenses.

At any rate, these two have surely proven this month that they're not very good at what they are doing for a living. Maybe they ought to consider a career change--like a job.


Anonymous said...


I found this article and found it somewhat interesting. If you have time I would be interested in your reaction given your involvement with NU Directions


Tom Casady said...

Interesting article, and I hear this a lot. The idea that the 21 year drinking age creates some kind of taboo that actually has the reverse impact is a common theme.

On the surface, the argument that lowering the drinking age would lessen the binging phenomenon seems appealing. I, too, remember a time when young people rarely drank hard liquor, and rarely drank for the purpose of getting drunk. The drinking age was 19, 20, and 21 during my college years, and 18 in Kansas. I can't recall shots at all when I was in college--it was beer, Coors if you were really cool and had connections.

But I don't think the phenomenon of binge drinking is related to the drinking age. The really hard drinkers who are doing shots in my City seem to all be 21 and over, and they've been drinking since junior high.

I wish, like some countries, youthful drinking was a more leisurely affair, where the wine or beer was more part of the social scene or the meal than what we experience in the United States. I think, though, that this is a function of cultural differences--not legal drinking age.

Could be wrong, though, and I am always open-minded to some legitimate research. Not quite sure how it could be done, but maybe there's a naturally occurring experiment somewhere that would shed some light on the issue.

One thing is for sure, and has tons of research to back it up: a higher drinking age has reduced fatal traffic accidents in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder if this arrest will hurt their chances for leniency on the earlier charges? Anyone interested should look up their case list on the County Attorney site.

On the drinking age, when there was a military draft, the argument that the age should be 18 made some sense. But there's no draft now, so it shouldn't go any further than active-duty military members being able to drink at 18 - but only beer, and only on a military base, in a base club. Why should those that didn't raise their right hand garner a benefit intended for that small minority that stepped up to the plate? They shouldn't, of course.

It worked quite well at Camp Pendleton, where they do it to keep most of the 18-20 age Marines and Sailors from going to Tijuana to drink (and get fleeced by corrupt MexiCops, on-the-spot "fines" of whatever is in your wallet). That kept a lot of the drunk driving down too, since the clubs were an easy short walk from base housing. Alcohol-related crime seemed quite low, probably because USMC Military Police and the UCMJ are a couple of bulls whose horns few want to feel.

Anonymous said...

Is there more a person should do when they feel the police have overlooked something?


Tom Casady said...

No profanity, please, in your own posts or in the links contained therein.

Call us on our administrative number, 441-7204 and we'll look into it. Ask to speak to a sergeant or captain. For that matter, just call me. We'll need the approximate time, date, and number you called. All the phone lines are recorded. We troubleshoot these things all the time, and we are always interested in knowing about it if we have fouled something up.

Keep in mind that the Emergency Communications Center (911 and 441-6000) is a separate government agency, not part of the police department.

Lots of times during the day we are flat out of police officers, with several dispatches waiting in the queue. They are sent out based on a priority system during these times. This is typical in most cities of this size, but we're smaller than most, too.

And please quit busting my chops unless you're willing to get to the bottom of it. We like arresting people who are violating the law--it's part of our job! The 999 drunk drivers arrested as of the end of July would view it differently.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the LPD does a great job of getting drunks off the road. This problem of response is lack of officers on the street. I never intended to dump that in your lap. This is a mayor and city council problem and they wont do a thing unless the crime rate goes up. it also is not expected by the average joe that LPD intensivly audits every plate that they happen upon.