A St. Louis city leader frustrated with the police response to rising crime called Tuesday on residents to arm themselves to protect their lives and property.Good for you, Mr. Troupe.
Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe said police are ineffective, outnumbered or don't care about the increase in crime in his north St. Louis ward. St. Louis has had 157 homicides in 2008, 33 more than last year at this time.
"The community has to be ready to defend itself, because it's clear the economy is going to get worse, and criminals are getting more bold," Troupe, 72, said Tuesday.
Troupe said that when he and residents approached a district police commander last year, they were told "there was nothing he could do to protect us and the community ... that he didn't have the manpower."
Naturally, Chief Dan Isom of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department disagrees. He wants a more enlightened, "it takes a village" approach:
While police officers have the dangerous job of arresting criminals, we must all be willing to roll up our sleeves and do the work that addresses the underlying reasons why criminals commit crimes---poverty, lack of education, lack of family structure, lack of employment skills, drug addiction. We must work together. We must look out for our neighbors and our neighborhoods. We must care enough to get involved, even if it's not happening in our own backyard. I think all of these things will help but I can't guarantee these are the solutions. However I can say with certainty that the solution is not more guns.OK, Chief Isom. When will you and your fellow officers be giving up your guns?