News and Tribune

December 6, 2012

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Dec. 6


Crime mapping could help our city

Several months ago, while scouring the Internet for assistance in setting up a safety subcommittee for JNLA (Jeffersonville Neighborhood Leadership Alliance), I discovered a city safety program called City Crime Mapping and Analysis. (During this time, the program was also brought to my attention at a Clark County Drug Coalition meeting by an epidemiology professor from Indiana University Southeast.)  

Learning that Richmond had this program, I discussed the program with Chief Chris Wolski from the Richmond Police Department. In light of the recent city council presentation and letter to the editor from a concerned parent addressing a delay in crime reporting of two recent assaults, I thought Wolski’s analysis of crime mapping may be of interest to our community.  

The program extracts data from dispatch and feeds the information directly to the public side and/or police side of the mapping system. Incidents are shown on an area map with category markers indicating each type of minor or major incident. The benefits to the police, according to Wolski, have been invaluable for “data accumulation, monitoring hot spots, predicting problems and the development of overall better policing strategies.”      

From the community side, a citizen can enter his/her address and know quickly what incidents are occurring in the selected neighborhood(s). There is even a site for direct communication via email alerts from the police to your neighborhood.

As a result, neighbors benefit from knowing the issues to address in their particular neighborhoods. Richmond authorities say they received a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods covering the total cost to trial the program for the first year. After that first year, their cost has been about $7,000 a year.

If you are interested, check the program out at http://myneighborhoodupdate.net. Given the grant availability, testing the program would not be hindered by cost and both law enforcement and the citizenry could see if this program would be of benefit to our city.   

— Marilyn Czape, JNLA Secretary, Jeffersonville

State is shortchanging area schools

As an independent voter, I have been appalled during the past four years as our Republican governor and legislature happily slashed about $7 million from the New Albany-Floyd County School Corp. budget, forcing an epic struggle to provide basic services.

The state now has an eye popping $2.1 billion surplus and will give each of us $111. Does that make sense to you? They also voted to drain additional revenue by providing vouchers for children to attend parochial schools. I don’t pay taxes to fund religious education.

I believe that a strong public education system is the future of our county/state/country and provides the foundation for a secure democracy. The state government should realize that same premise and listen to all those who split their ballot to cast out a fellow Republican, State Superintendent Tony Bennett, and his counterproductive agenda that weakens our system of public education.

Let’s show monetary support for our schools and especially the teachers who work extremely hard to overcome the ramifications of our schools’ enormous budget deficit.

I realize that there are those who need the $111 that will be credited on our 2012 taxes. I get that.

I plan to show my gratitude by giving back my $111 to a local school and I hope many of you will choose to do the same. [This qualifies as a nonprofit donation on your taxes].

Are you in?

— Marty Hoover, New Albany

Reader disagrees with publishing of article

So, beginning with the Tuesday, Nov. 27, News and Tribune sports section, your readership will now be informed about the pregnancy status of our local area female athletes.

I have to ask, for what reason should such information be shared with the public? Can we now expect to find out if our local area male athletes have fathered children while on scholarship?

I believe you crossed an ethical line and owe someone an apology.

— Ken Miller, Charlestown