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Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Police Officers- Less Crime???

Charlotte is using federal stimulus dollars to hire 50 more police officers this year. In addition, the City Council recently voted to use money that was originally slated to improve roads to hire 75 additional police officers. This sounds great- more police officers, less crime. Case closed. However, I don't believe it actually works out this way.

Spend a day at the courthouse and you will see the volume of cases that one day holds. In administrative courtroom 1130 you can see over 400 cases in one day. On the fourth floor, you will see the variety of misdemeanor assault and battery among thefts and driving while intoxicated. In courtroom 1150, attorneys wait for police reports so the District Attorney can decide whether to proceed with the case. Prosecutors deal with the heavy caseload. Defense attorneys handle each case individually and try to separate their clients from the masses.

Everyone wants the streets safer. No one likes crime. Put more police on the road. Yet, laws are enacted that are difficult to enforce, texting while driving in an example. Police bring more cases to the courthouse. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Observer reports that Governor Perdue ordered an additional 5 percent across the board budget cut two weeks ago from state agencies, which includes the court system. However, Mayor Pat McCrory called for the courts to speed up prosecutions. Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist responded "You spend money on the Police Department to bring in more cases, but if the courts can't respond, then we're the bottleneck in the system". plea for more

The overall goal of enhancing public safety by adding police officers is great in theory, but appears to come up short in everyday practice.


posted by Carilyn Ibsen at


Blogger Maximilian said...

Even thought this is true i do think that having more police officers on the road means that it will be more risky for the criminals to commit a crime....

October 13, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

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