Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: March 2012


Expensive study unnecessary to answer gang question

The long-anticipated answer has finally arrived, and now it is official: Tacoma has a gang problem.

It seems obvious at this point that the Tacoma City Council’s decision to spend $50,000 on a study to determine the extent of the gang problem was a bad idea. At best it was a well-intentioned exercise in redundancy. Let’s look at some of the results:

  • Gangs infest more than half the city
  • Gangsters sell drugs and use guns for violent crime
  • Youths are recruited into gangs in middle school

If the authors of the full 316-page report, Missouri-based Executive Interface, LLC,

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Continued violence demands legislative solutions

If you’ve been keeping up on news in the Puget Sound area you already know that 2012 has been a violent year. In January a park ranger, Margaret Anderson, was shot and killed at Mount Rainier National Park. In early February our region garnered unwanted national attention due to the domestic violence homicide of two small boys by the now infamous Josh Powell. Just last week we lost another police officer, State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu, at the hands of a meth-crazed criminal.

Violent crime remains a critical issue. The question is, what are we doing about it?

One hurdle

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A tribute to Congressman Dicks

This column ran in 2011, but I am dusting it off in recognition of Congressman Norm Dicks’ plans to retire.

I stood by the open cockpit door of the little four-passenger Piper and imagined myself the very image of a nonchalant charter pilot. Then my passenger, Congressman Norm Dicks, stormed up, hot with anger, and my cool demeanor evaporated like water on the sun-drenched tarmac. He had just been told that I was his ride to Hoquiam, and I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears.

That was back in 2000. I had just left Tacoma P.D.

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NYPD’s “Muslim-watch” may be legal, but still worth examining

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Franklin Roosevelt

FDR’s famous quote, made during a bank panic in 1933, turned out to be both prophetic and ironic. In the weeks following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Oval Office must have resounded with the phrase, “the end justifies the means.” That would best describe the rationale for FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans for the duration of WWII. The proclamation was a capitulation to the fear-mongering and racist sentiments of a country at war.

Fast forward to post 9/11 New York City and it seems likely a similar

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