If no national guard, then what?

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More than 300 concerned community residents attended a recent Town Hall Meeting on the West Side to discuss the proposal to deploy the Illinois National Guard in Chicago. Many described how crime and unemployment are affecting their families.

Dear Editor, More than 300 concerned community residents attended a recent Town Hall Meeting on the West Side to discuss the proposal to deploy the Illinois National Guard in Chicago.  Many described how crime and unemployment are affecting their families.

The Chicago Police Department has stated that Chicago’s Finest are short as many as 2000 officers.  I have introduced a resolution asking Congress to assist cities to hire the extra needed police.  I also propose a special “Scratch Out Crime” lottery ticket to support the hiring of more police.  But, if using well-trained National Guardsmen as auxiliaries to the Chicago Police is not a good idea, then what other alternatives do we have?

 Crime decreases property values, discourages people from establishing businesses and hurts existing businesses.  Town Hall attendees emphasized that improving educational and job opportunities are important long-term solutions to improving public safety.

I love Chicago, with its many restaurants and cultural activities. But, there remains that 9% of the city where most crime occurs.  As I raise my six year old daughter in Austin, I want her to enjoy a safe and vibrant community.  I look forward to coming together to increase safety in all of our communities. La Shawn K. Ford

State Representative – 8th District 

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender.

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