June 12th, 2021

Wanted Wednesday feature a matter of public safety


By Al Beeber on June 5, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

An uproar is growing over the Lethbridge Police Service so-called Wanted Wednesday feature in which it publicizes the face, name and crime of a person being sought. Some in Lethbridge have a problem with the program, as evidenced by a petition to ban it. A recent Herald story said there were 545 supporters of that petition.
That’s 545 out of a city of 100,000. How many residents of this city support the program? Perhaps a second petition needs to be started to get the other side. After all, there are at least two sides to every issue, which I know will be a revelation to many blinded by their own viewpoints.
With the amount of drug and property crime we have in the city, many residents could make a justifiable argument the city police needs to keep the program.
Residents in Lethbridge deserve to be able to recognize the names and faces of the city’s most wanted as a matter of personal safety.
In our neighbourhood, which is increasingly dealing with car prowlings and drug activities, being able to put a name to one of the strangers in our area might prevent a crime from occurring. It might help the police get someone violent off the street.
This is a public safety issue and the personal safety of residents should be a priority with everyone in Lethbridge.
Like I told one angry caller a few years ago who didn’t want his name in the court news, don’t commit a crime if you don’t want to make headlines. It’s that simple.
The police have a valid reason for putting the names of criminals in the public domain – the safety of our community. Anyone who makes the list has only themselves to blame. It’s not a society issue, it’s a personal choice to commit an act that warrants police intervention.
We law-abiding citizens deserve to know what threats exist in our community to our families.
Of course, petition supporters will vehemently oppose me. But the swing of society to extremes is going to capsize the boat eventually.
We need to maintain an even keel and that means taking the best philosophies of the right and the left and trying to create a better world using the expertise from both sides, good judgment and common sense. It means having a dialogue and coming to compromises that the vast majority of people can live with.
I believe, and many others have told me they feel the same, the majority of people aren’t represented by the viewpoints of the left or right.
But those sides are both vocal – especially on Twitter which has become a cesspool of extremism. They can bully and they can intimidate so many people in the middle of the political and social spectrums feel they have to be silent or risk attack.
Bullying and intimidation have no place in our world but both exist and are keeping people who believe in balance quiet. The extreme right and left among us aren’t interested in a middle ground; it’s either their way or no way. All Albertans are caught in the crossfire of this power struggle and we are all losing.
I personally believe a person can be conservative in some ways and progressive in others and I believe conflict by extremism is going to destroy us.
Every issue has multiple dimensions. Those who are quick to immediately dismiss everything about the UCP or NDP, without considering that both have merits in their philosophies, are the reason we have conflict.
Those of us who see positives in the right and left don’t have a voice. And those of us who want safe neighbourhoods deserve a voice in Wanted Wednesdays. We need to be able to identify threats to us. And that program is one way to do that.
Is it possible for the LPS to block comments on Most Wanted social media posts? If so, then that’s perhaps the route the police force needs to take to reduce criticism by opponents.
Shutting down a tool that has value to the community is protecting criminals at the expense of everyone else.
And that is absolutely unfair.
Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.

Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter

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