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Letter: Community and police are needed to reduce crime

The recent letter about dissolution of the Strike Force in Buffalo, I think, synthesized an essential issue. Is it not vital that community leaders work very closely with law enforcement, such that citizens are not feeling harassed and victimized but rather protected and a part of the solution?

We keep reading and hearing about the ineffectual non-response of Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Chicago’s deadly violence.

A few years ago, Bill O’Reilly had two black community leaders from Chicago on his show. One was a journalist and the other a minister. I thought they were wonderful and squarely addressed the issue that their communities need to embrace and work with Chicago law enforcement and that the police (and National Guard, if it comes to that) would welcome and be guided by well-informed citizens.

And, yes, maybe for a transitional period it would appear to be an occupation force, but how else do you restore order? When we got clobbered by a snowstorm in 2014 and 1977 didn’t we look to the Guard?

Regrettably, the TV discussion was cut short when O’Reilly kept trying to drive his guests into his talking points, which had some relevance but not to that specific mission. For a few minutes I actually thought these good, smart people were helping to bring about a movement with the people of Chicago to ease their agony and near despair.

Does this same concept not apply to Buffalo, where so many of our leaders are representative of the community? I mean strong people who care like Betty Jean Grant and Darius Pridgen and Byron Brown and Leecia Eve and Kriner Cash.

Hey, your work isn’t done, you’re just getting started.

David Casassa


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