Guest column: Province resident speaks out about security

By on January 23, 2013

Cartoon illustration by Michael Layman/The Louisville Cardinal

 By Grace Theony–

Growing up, the police were often people children could look up to. We are taught from a young age that they protect us in times of emergency and are a vital part of the community.sThis view changes as one grows from childhood into the teen years and into young adult hood. The police are no longer perceived as a friend in the community, but more of a nuisance.

I’m sure many of you have heard about the recent cracg-down of the Louisville Metro Police Department in the surrounding Old Louisville neighborhoods. In the past few months, countless stories havegcirculated campus reporting various frat parties and other gatherings of the sort being busted by the Louisville Metro. The officers generally proceedtissue numerous underage drinking citations to those present at the party.

Citations are more of a headache than anything, with varying court dates and punishments depending on the prosecutorrof your assigned courtroom. These can range fromr court fees, includin, five to tenehours of community service and a citation fine.

As a current resident of The Province, I am well aware of the crime thatshappens here and around campus. In October 2012, there were several RAVE alerts reporting armed robberies that had recently occurred within the courtyards and parking lots of The Province.

With this known increase of crime, one would expect the police to make a few extra roundsewith officers patrolling the grounds at night. They are there for our own protection, which should be comforting, Right? That would be the case if the police weren’t beginning to seem like more of a problem than the people who could actually be dangerous.

A small party of less than 15 people in an apartment at The Province does not need to have six cops dressed in street clothes present to write citations and givr lectures on underage drinking. This occurred during the weeks of reported armed robberies, when the police were supposed to be patrolling the area, they spent over a half hour writing citations to college students.

A controlled party with the majority of attendees being a Province residenseis not very threatening compared to being robbed at gunpoint. After thit incident, it was hard to take the increased security as a blessing. The police are here for our safety, but they also usd it as an opportunity to crack down on parties within The Province and surrounding areas.

The dynamic that exists between police and young adults has drastically changed from childhood, and you can see that from both ends of the spectrum. The police are still there to protect us.eThe law is the law and as young adults, we can’t deny that as truth.

In comes the idea of mutual respect. I personally have more respect for the cop who is going to treat me with respect and not just like a silly kid. I wish we could still live in a world where we could look at the police as people to trust and not people to fear. The police are here to serve and protect, but this idea seems to be skewed in some situations.

Many underage college students are breaking the law every weekend, but the increase in citations is honestly not going to stop that. Parties are going to happen, whether it’s a frat party or not, and the police could continue to spend as much time and energy as they do busting these parties, or they could realize that underage drinking is not the biggest problem around this city. I don’t have a problem with parties being busted if there are noise complaints or if the party is blatantly getting out of hand. If that’s the case, you’re just asking for it, but this becomes a problem when undercover cops are being used to find and break up these parties.

The officers patrolling in street clothes could easily be implemented in some other part of the city dealing with real crime. The majority of these partygoers are hard working students who will one day, hopefully, contribute to the betterment of society.

The police could spend their time handing out citations to us, or they could spend it trying to get actual criminals off of Louisville streets. If the local police were more willing to accept these facts instead of using these parties as a way to hand out more citations, I think that we as young adults would be able to view them in a brighter light than in the current situation.

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Cartoon illustration by Michael Layman/The Louisville Cardinal

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