It was heartening to see Licensing and Consumer Affairs acting as the enforcement agency that it is by shutting down a dangerously dysfunctional nightclub on St. Thomas. Let’s hope many more enforcement actions will follow this lead.
Lack of enforcement of laws on the books is regularly touted as one of the greatest impediments to our community’s growth and prosperity.
The actions this week of DLCA should serve as a sign that there is a reason for hope.
The failure of those charged with enforcing the law is deeply demoralizing. There are lots of excuses, and some of them are valid; reduced funding, manpower shortages. Even when they do their job, they too don’t feel like the citizenry will back them up.
Case in point: Recently when asked about open drug dealing in Red Hook, Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard said an intricate and no-doubt expensive sting operation had been set up to bust the dealers. When the “air-tight” case went to court, Querrard said, the jury acquitted the accused.
Always in the back of our minds is “jury tampering.” God knows that happens here. It takes courage to live by conviction. Not everyone has that courage. But sometimes it is as simple as the fact that we have such contempt for our leaders that we are more inclined to identify with the criminals.
Lack of jury power is another issue. Everyone wants law and order, but few want to give a couple of days of their lives to achieve it.
When the police urge citizens to report crimes, citizens respond, “Why bother?”
If you want a different world, create it. Step up and report crime and be willing to sit on a jury, or else stop complaining. The government is only as effective as the citizens it serves.
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.