Letters to the Editor

No way to fight crime

The issues facing our communities have become more complex. They demand that law-enforcement agencies work closely with the communities they serve, and others, to develop new strategies to resolve systemic problems that lead to chronic criminal activity.

Crime and poverty are inextricably joined. But they are symptoms of a larger problem. To focus exclusively on crime without working with others to develop and implement strategies to address underlying causes of crime, is to miss the mark completely

According to the 2010 statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American males between 15 and 34. Recently, two North Dade cities announced that they are hosting gun buy-backs. I challenge any agency to provide statistics that correlate gun buy-backs with a reduction of homicides or gun-related violence.

Gun buy-backs are popular, but ineffective . It gives the community a false sense of hope that police departments are doing something to reduce crime when, in fact, those who possess firearms unlawfully never appear at those events.

When agencies begin to use intelligence and technology-driven policing strategies, coupled with true community partnership, and focus their efforts on best practices, then and only then will they be able to increase efforts in reducing crime. To do otherwise is pure fallacy.

James Barry Wright, former chief of police, Opa-locka