During the campaign Deval Patrick stressed that in the area of public safety he supported: “Personal safety and the security of one’s property are indispensable elements of an intact community.” A very noble yet basic goal. If this isn’t the basic role of government I don’t know what is.
Furthermore Deval Patrick during the campaign stressed “Community Policing” and crime prevention as the cornerstones of his public safety policy.
Response to crime must above all be firm. I see 1,000 new officers on the streets to restore and enhance our community patrol ranks. Well-trained and well-equipped officers across the Commonwealth, especially in our cities, will be assigned to neighborhoods, to build relationships with residents, clergy, youth workers and shop owners, better enabling law enforcement both to solve and prevent crime.
Because prevention is the best and cheapest form of public protection, Massachusetts will lead in crime prevention. I envision a Massachusetts where we all work together – families, educators, police, local courts, religious and community leaders, state and local government officials – to stop crime before it starts.
That is why I was particularly puzzled to read Casey Ross’ blog post yesterday in The Herald. In the post titled “Patrick nixes anti-gang money”, Ross describes the confusion at the city and town level regarding Patrick’s slashing of $25 million in community policing money. Which he is then going to use for 250 new community police.
Patrick has made community policing one of the top priorities of his budget, which includes money for 250 new police officers. Still, the governor faced criticism from lawmakers yesterday for eliminating $20 million in community policing programs to pay for the new officers.
“It’s not just about hiring police officers,” said State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, D-Roxbury, adding that neighborhood anti-gang programs are critical components of community policing in her district.
Besides my agreeing with Dianne Wilkerson (which may be a watershed moment in and of itself), what does this say about the Patrick administration.
What I think it says, is that Patrick is one who will live and die by the soundbite, by the constant campaign. This is odd seeing that one of his main criticisms of Romney is that Romney governed by sound bite and press conference.
All Patrick is doing in this instance is playing the old shell game, and practicing bait and switch. Promising us he’d be “No Ordinary Leader” , to which the many who voted for him thought meant extraordinary, but are quickly finding out means less than ordinary.