Laura Hanan isn’t a fan of Brick City’s location in downtown, and she has rarely hidden her views about it. She e-mailed me last night (becoming the first non-TNT employee to read the blog — and a day before it went public!) with her take on my reporting on Brick City.
Read her comments after the jump, and feel free to leave any comments or e-mail me about it:
My opinion on the police department’s response and reporting of crime
statistics is that they have a vested interest in defending the job that they are doing – if they say things are bad, it begs the question – why are things bad – why aren’t they doing a better job?
The crime stats are unreliable at best. For example Paddy Coynes employees and I both called 911 on three separate occasions in the time frame between the last week of July and the first two weeks of August when disruptive incidents (unrelated to Brick City) necessitated police intervention that resulted in people being taken away in patrol cars in handcuffs. None of these incidents were reported by LT. Darlington in his monthly sector report, of which regularly includes events ranging from nuisance behavior to criminal arrests.
In my opinion reporting and recording crime statistics becomes an invalid, skewed endeavor if the person in charge of reporting crimes
– A) Has a vested interest in the results – e.g. the sector commander
has an inherent conflict of interest if he is the one keeping track of the crimes in his area – higher incidents of crime make the TPD look bad and – B) Can subjectively decide what constitutes an “incident” (see A). When I questioned Darlington about his decision not to report these incidents, he acknowledged that it was ultimately his call. He said, “I follow a set format that was established by the Asst. Chief. It is only a synopsis. Certainly not every incident or issue is presented each month.”
World Vision/ Brick City’s Deanna Neidlinger continues to preach that it is somehow downtown Tacoma’s responsibility to redress the lives of what she and Brian Boyd have defined as “high risk teens.” The problem with this charter is that no one in my neighborhood was asked if they wanted to participate and this is not conducive to revitalizing a downtown neighborhood that has been plagued with crime and nuisance behavior from poorly managed business neighbors such as more than 200 units of low income housing.
Yes, Brick City has a legal right to be there, but in light of their continued poor management practices, should it be at the expense of all the other businesses in the area? Will it really help at risk teens if downtown businesses can’t flourish and there is no tax base?
Boyd and Neidlinger have repeatedly promised local business owners that their crowds of their under age club patrons would not loiter on the sidewalks on Friday and Saturday nights. Yet two weeks ago with more than 50 Brick City patrons out on the street, I witnessed an injury and kids damaging personal property. The facts speak for themselves.
And no matter how Brick City spins it, the fact us that a little over a year ago their club brought a murder to our block.