Hear Mayor Baker's interview about the spate of violence
Finally, finally... Mayor Baker responded to a request for an interview about the string of deadly shootings in the city, most exceptionally, during that amateur soccer match in the Southbridge community.
Our talk show hosts are piling on Mayor Baker. Will you?
The mayor does remind us when the city engaged in more forceful policing - i.e., jump-out squads - the city administration took heat from some of the same people who accuse his administration of being too passive today.
He continues to maintain so-called community policing achieves little.
That said, the mayor does seem to have a major philosophical problem with doing what many have advocated: Even if he doesn't have the answers, personally taking the time to visit with residents in some of the stricken neighborhoods.
Here's the interview in its entirety (sorry for a little drop-out near the beginning)...
I heard Allan's interview with Mayor Baker this afternoon. Baker is quite defensive, which I guess is to be expected.
Anyone in his shoes would be too.
Baker claims they've tried community policing with foot patrols, but didn't get the results desired. OK, how long did you do this? Were the cops white, and the communities were black? Don't hand me any nonsense saying it doesn't make a difference. I've listened to enough black people discuss such things over the years to know it does matter, or Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be out-of-business.
Most blacks generally do not trust white people, especially white cops. So if you ever hope to get the cop-on-the-beat thing to work, you're going to need minority cops for minority neighborhoods, not Irish cops in black communities. There's enough distrust already, plus the additional barrier of color/race doesn't help at all. So suck it up and hire some minority cops specifically for those neighborhoods.
Second observation from the mayor's interview: He's a callous, cold-hearted son of a "gun". Allan tried to get the mayor to see value as the leader of the city to go to offer comfort and support to those families who've lost someone due to gun violence. The mayor spouted off rather loudly that he's lost a child (he didn't say to gun violence), but his point was that he understands how those families feel, BUT what Mr. Big-Shot Mayor doesn't seem to get, is besides being the big cheese of Delaware's largest city that no one wants to go to, he's still supposed to be a human.
Sure it's like closing the barn-door after the horses get out, but those folks still need to be able to have their say to Mr. Big Cheese Mayor face-to-face. Sure, many are going to be angry and I don't blame them, but that's part of being the big cheese of a city, county, state, or nation. Look at the criticism Bush Jr. took when he delayed in personally going out to New Orleans to see the damage. People expect THEIR leaders to actually give a darn. Bush Jr. screwed up and so has Mayor Baker in this regard.
I do understand the mayor's frustration as he explained how he and his administration has made some efforts to fix the problem. But he seems to be the "Jimmy Carter" in terms of being able to fix this situation (think Carter's bungling of getting our hostages back). The city of Wilmington needs a "Ronald Reagan"-type of approach. The Iranians knew Reagan would not fool around with them and released the hostages on day one of Reagan's term, because they feared he'd nuke them into oblivion. OK the mayor can't nuke these drug pimps, BUT he can make their life in Wilmington a miserable experience. He can start "Operation Giulliani" in the city and have the county also start "Operation Giulliani" at the same time, so that there would be no place in Northern Delaware to hide. BUT that would require some leadership of which the mayor seems to lack. He'd rather get angry.
IT'S PAST TIME for Wilmington Government to retake the city from these gansta's and their drug cartels, and for the county to prevent them from migrating out of the city to the suburbs. If the big-cheese mayor of Wilmington needs to call out the National Guard to help patrol the streets, giving the cops extra eyes and guns, fine, do it. This is a war and the city is losing it bigtime.
The mayor offered some lame thing about how NYC and I think it was Chicago have had a recent increase in crime. Yea, well Wilmington hasn't had a decrease during the times NYC had a decrease either. Granted, during economic hard times crime probably will go up, but this gun violence has been going on far before the economy crashed at the end of Bush Jr.'s term as Prez. Nice try at passing the buck, Mr. Big Cheese Mayor of Delaware's largest crime-infested sewer called Wilmington, that no one wants to go visit, much less live there.
If I sound angry, I am. I've lived here all my life and Wilmington used to be a nice place to live or visit, but today, it's no better than Chester, PA or Camden, NJ. For that, Mr. Mayor, you should be ashamed.
Tue, Jul 10, 2012 9:35pm
MFD: Based on my pizza experience from the last couple of months, I'd rather take my chances in Chester than in Wilmington. That's not to say I have a false sense of security, but Wilmington has taken a big turn for the worse in a very short time, and at this point I think only Chicago may be worse.
Unfortunately, the 13/40 split to the Maryland state line is getting as bad as the city. Lots of stick-ups of any establishment that has a cash register.
I'm not so sure that black cops vs. white cops would make much difference. Most of the murders are blacks killing blacks and that goes for most of the other crime as well.
For whatever reason, interracial crime seems to be the smaller percentage, at least from a local perspective.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jul 11, 2012 8:05am
Mrpizza: You made an interesting comment. From the 13/40 split to the Maryland State line is getting as bad as the city. Lots of stick-ups.
Does it literally stop at the state line or was that just a metaphor? It would be interesting to know if the crime does stop at the state line, and does not pass the Cecil County side of the line.
If so, the question would be, what are the Cecil County, Elkton city, and Maryland State Cops AND Courts doing differently than the NCC, Delaware State Cops AND Courts doing?
Mayor Baker seemed to think it wasn't the cops' lack of effort. So could some of the problem be with the Courts in Delaware, especially in Wilmington and NCC?
Are they too lenient?
The idea of having minority cops in minority neighborhoods is due to the fact that minorities in those communities do not trust the white cops, so they see them as the enemy. They won't tell the cops anything. Until those folks believe the cops have their best interest at heart, they'll never trust them. So it would be far easier to gain that trust with folks who look like them, who understand their issues than with blond-haired, blue-eyed white cops.
Wed, Jul 11, 2012 1:45pm
First of all, I am not a fan of Mayor Baker at all. However, I heard the interview and I do agree that some of this goes beyond policing. We need to pressure the courts to not be so lenient on these people. People who create serious crimes and are known to have the potential to continue that kind of life need to be kept out of the general population. Potential criminals have to know that if they get caught, they will be sent away for a long time and their punishment will be severe. We need ways to send these people out-of-town to be rehabilitated where they don't have friends and families visiting. I hear many people saying that we need to go easier on them, but who will help the families of the victims? There's plenty of police work that needs to be done, but once they catch them and get them off the street, the Legal Systems needs to devise ways to keep them off the street.
Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jul 12, 2012 1:30pm
Newsms: Well said.
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