Friday, November 15, 2013

Tip Of The Spear

Amherst Police will be assigning more officers to problem areas around UMass for alcohol enforcement thanks to a $10,000 state grant.  Good news for beleaguered neighbors since the underage youth walking down a public street with an open container of beer can soon become a noisy worker bee in a party house hive.

On busy party weekends the first wave of arrests usually commences a couple hours before midnight with underage drinking or open container violations, so at the very least it gets those party minded individuals off the streets for the night.


The Juggernaut said...

Will the money from various fines be used to pay back the state grant? Or is Amherst getting a free ride from Mass again.

Larry Kelley said...

Good point. That state grant covers the overhead and the town gets to keep the fines. Good deal.

Dr. Ed said...

In theory Larry, the town is supposed to plow the fines back into its law enforcement efforts -- this is considered to be like seed corn donated to a farmer with the understanding that he/she/it will then use some of the corn grown to plant next year's crop.

I do need to say one thing though -- and as a student of the martial arts, you likely know this:

It takes a lot less to redirect something than to stop it. If someone goes to punch you, you could (theoretically) grab their fist and stop it via brute force. Or you could do the fancy-named Karate stuff to redirect it away from you. Which is what you do.

Now WHY re-direct it? You know the answer to that -- you likely taught it to people. The goal, after all, is not to stop the fist but to prevent it from hitting you.

Now if the goal is to deal with boorish behavior -- alcohol, noise and the rest -- why isn't redirecting it being considered?

How many of you really care if the kid drinks or not? No, you care about what he will do while drunk -- and only then largely because it is going to intefere with you and your life. That's the problem, isn't it?

And are things better now than they were 5 years ago? I don't think so. QED, brute force hasn't worked.

So why not try redirecting it?

Any of my critics on the AFD want to explain what a "backfire" is -- why you sometimes intentionally light a second wildfire with hopes that it gets sucked toward the first and then -- with nothing left to burn, the fire stops advancing. Explain why you sometimes do "controlled burns" to reduce the risk of the uncontrolled conflagration.

If he wants to kill brain cells, if she wants to act like a slut, I say let them do it -- and control as to time and place. Like the controlled burn, it's going to impact on you -- but far less, and that is good.

Allow loud parties -- until 11 PM. That means you have a noisy afternoon -- but can sleep at night, and I think that is what you want.

Pressure UMass to bring back tailgating -- there is no more legal duty to enforce the laws against underaged drinking than there is to enforce the laws against sodomy (or smoking pot) -- I'm not talking negligence here but establishing a perimiter and enforcing all the laws (particularly OUI) outside of it.

Assumption of risk -- just like getting hit by a baseball at Fenway Park -- hire AFD to teach basic first aid to anyone who wants to learn it, and station them outside, on the perimiter with the cops and make it clear that they aren't coming in after anyone -- that it is the victim and or the victim's friends who are responsible for getting the person out.

Why not?

Anonymous said...

Valuable, thoughtful - dare I say sober - comments and suggestions, Ed. Quite refreshing and worth considering....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being our weekend news source!

Larry Kelley said...

No problem.

(If 9/11 happened on a Saturday morning we would read about on the front page of Tuesday's Gazette.)