Sunday, October 23, 2005

Child Molesters, Burglars and Rapists Breathe Easier as Marion County Law Enforcement Wastes Resources on "Seat Belt Enforcement" Check Points

Today I passed through a "Seat Belt Enforcement" check point near the intersection of Broad Ripple Avenue and Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis.

At least five police officers were involved in the operation.

I can't help thinking how child molesters, burglars and rapists must be comforted by this. It's much easier to escape detection and prosecution if law enforcement wastes its resources on "nanny state" projects.

My experience as an attorney in Indianapolis has shown how the law enforcement resources are poorly used in this city. For example, my experience is that a burglar usually is a serial burglar. Solve one burglary and you've solved and prevented possible scores of burglaries. Yet homeowners and small business owners constantly complain of the lack of investigation in the burglaries of their businesses and homes. Rarely are their homes and businesses dusted for fingerprints, and their matter is assigned to an already overwhelmed and overworked burglary detective.

The result - home invasion - which is devastating to the homeowner - is rarely solved and a homeowner no longer feels safe in their home. Even worse, they know the culprit is at large - and who knows when and if they'll strike their home again.

Yet, I'd make investigating and solving burglaries a high priority for law enforcement. It will remove from the streets those who make homeowners feel unsafe in their homes. It will punish those who burglarize for money to buy drugs. And if you really want to hurt the pocketbook of drug dealers and put them out of business - vigorously prosecute those who steal, rob and burglarize for drug money. Of course, solving burglaries is never as exciting as drug busts in which law enforcement parades around like peacocks over 1/1000th of the drugs that came into town that day.

However, it must be Marion County law enforcements' opinion that we can all rest comfortably knowing that five police officers are making sure everyone wears their seat belt - and punishing those that don't. Why should they care about burglars when there are seat belt scofflaws to catch? Do you feel better knowing this is the priority of law enforcement? I certainly don't.

By the way, I've worn a seat belt in a car for as long as I can remember so I didn't add any excitement or help anybody reach their quota for today's check point.

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