Require the Prior
Our Citywide Coalition, begun on the Indian School Corridor in the summer of 2007, has taken a leadership role in bringing the issue of repeat misdemeanor criminals and the negative impact of their crimes against us to our City Council, Courts, and Police. We first documented these issues and provided concrete solutions in our White Paper in May 2008.
Our membership currently consists of nearly 2200 businesses, 40 Neighborhood Associations representing over 54,000 households citywide, and N.A.I.L.E.M. an anti-crime lobbying group with 45,000 members statewide. Our Citywide Coalition and its policing and prosecution goals have been endorsed by the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA), the union for rank and file police officers.
As the result of our dedication and solid research, we have built a coalition of trust and cooperation with our police, city courts, and council members. We have been working with police in our precinct to reduce crime on the Indian School Corridor and are already seeing excellent results. Now is the time to build upon this success and take this method of policing and prosecution citywide. Now is the time for you to join us.
To solve the systemic problems that are enabling the repeat career street criminals to live in our alleys and on our freeways, harassing the customers in our parking lots, jeopardizing the safety of our customers, our employees, our neighborhoods, and our children. Our White Paper illustrates who these people really are and how their crimes are negatively affecting our economic prosperity, our safety, and our quality of life. In it we illustrate the systemic problems clearly, and offer realistic solutions that have proven effective in other major metropolitan areas worldwide.
Excerpts from the White Paper:
“Career Street Criminals choose to sustain themselves by committing crime. These crimes can be misdemeanor in nature such as shoplifting, trespassing, urinating and defecating in public, aggressive panhandling, drinking in public, etc. Unlike truly homeless people, they more often than not, they have multiple prior convictions, not only for misdemeanors but often times for violent crimes and burglaries as well. And yet, they are repeatedly arrested and returned to our doorsteps because of a breakdown in the system.”
“If a person is arrested in the city of Phoenix, we want them to know that our laws have teeth. That the police will discover their criminal history; the prosecutors will take this history seriously and prosecute vigorously; and the judges will sentence accordingly with the maximum penalty. This is the essence of what is known as Broken Windows Method of Policing and Prosecution. It has worked in NYC and can certainly work here in Phoenix.”
“We don’t want to be the fifth largest city in the country if we can’t be in the top five for safety – both personal and economic – the foundation stones for all quality of life. We are not just a faceless city, but one giant neighborhood and we want equality on this simple point: to “Require the Prior” and sentence accordingly, whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, whether the neighborhood is rich or poor, black, brown, or white.”