Crime element

Dear Editor:I have been wondering what Downey has been doing or not doing to attract a certain element to the city. Recently The Downey Patriot has listed in their Crime Report a variety of crimes, from assaults on the streets, to robberies and knife attacks. Our schools are also turning violent. I have never thought to arm myself with a knife or gun when I went out to dinner, yet it seems there are some who would not leave home without a weapon, and that is the element that I am writing about. I am not saying that they themselves are residents but they most likely feel that this city is now very hospitable to that type of element. Being a 40-year plus resident, I recall when our police force had gained a reputation for strictly enforcing the law . Whether for right or wrong, it was widely known that if one was to break the law in the city, there was going to be a consequence. Yet it was not only the police force that took the lead in law enforcement. There was a time past when code enforcement actually did what their name implied. If there was an overgrown yard, a home in need of repair, inoperative cars, trash containers not properly placed out of view, abandoned shopping carts left all over the city or speeding cars on almost every city street, they were immediately addressed. Currently we have only an occasional check point and homes with many of those code violations. I know that the city's excuse will be that due to economic conditions there is a lack of personnel and that is probably going to be the answer to everything until this city sinks into mediocrity. However, the city felt they had enough money -- $65,000 - for the "Taste of Downey" even when they knew as it was reported in the Patriot that the last such event lost about $15,000 and this was scheduled to lose the same. Yet there were enough funds available for that politically glamorous outdoor social event. Most cities are strapped with diminishing funds yet there are surrounding cities like Bell Gardens whose police force and code enforcement department patrols daily in search of infractions and they truly execute their jobs. The real reason people have chosen to live here, now and in the past, is they had a belief that the city would overcome such problems but now it seems many who fled the city in the last decades had lost the faith that Downey had the will, ability or vision to deal with the problems that it would face in later years. I certainly don't know what the answer is but I think that the majority of the residents of the city would rather have a safe city, a clean city, a city that is respected rather than those in city government who keep telling us how great this city and that it is not in need of any improvements other than cosmetic. I believe that the city is a living organism, a work in progress and that it will take more than relying on past glories and empty words to stand up to the new violent situations that the city faces daily. -- Ed Romero, Downey

********** Published: October 20, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 27