Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bad Economic Times and Law Enforcement

The recent economic news had primarily centered on businesses in America and has moved away from the individuals. What I mean by this is that the first signs of the economy failing and the big news 6 months ago was the residential foreclosures sweeping the country. The media and the government focus has now moved to business failures. I am going to put my Conan Obrian collar and point the flashlight at my face and make some predictions.

Cities and counties across the state look to cut budgets as taxes coming in to pay for services are dropping. It is a necessary evil as government must live with in their means. The problem with Law Enforcement is crime increases as the economy drops. Yet police agencies across the nation are held to flat budgets at best and cuts at the worst.

It is the way the cookie crumbles and there is not a lot that can be done. If crime rates raise to the point of crisis then and only then will government leaders bite the bullet and divert funds from other projects to law enforcement. The good side, if there is one, is that public safety is usually the last government function that is usually cut and is the easiest function in which to make a case for holding back cuts or even getting additional resources in tough economic times, if the crime rate is increasing enough.

In Santa Fe, the majority of the general fund for county government is property tax related. The huge swings seen in the city funds where the taxes are generated primarily through gross receipts are some what moderate in the county where property taxes are more stable. Leaders in law enforcement recognize crime trends and how economic factors, socioeconomic factors, seasons, weather, holidays and other factors that affect crime rates and respond accordingly. We need to prepare for the short and long term effects of tough economic times and ensure that our officers understand and are prepared to deal with these times. The upside to tough economic times is that careers in law enforcement become more desirabled. The benefits, retirement, job stability and pay make law enforcement a much more viable option to those who may not consider the career otherwise.

The important thing is that we understand and prepare for these times both as public officials and as individuals. Individuals need to understand what these times mean for crime trends and take extra precautions to prevent crime. The truth is we all should take these precautions all the time but there is never a better time than now to pay attention. I am adding these crime tips for burglaries because that is the most prevalent crime that will increase with tough economic times.

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break into.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day. Use motion detector lights outside.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or fliers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the post office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
  • Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
  • Know who belongs or does not belong in your neighborhood. If someone looks suspicious, call the police to have them checked out.
  • Keep your yard clean and bushes and trees trimmed. You don't want to give burglars a place to hide or remain concealed as they come in and out of your yard.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it, even if you are only leaving for a short time. While they may not prevent burglary's they do reduce the amount of items taken and many times when the alarm goes off the burglar will leave with out taking anything. Whether you have an alarm system or not buy signs that say you have an alarm and place them around your home.
The thing about burglaries is that one or two people can do 5 or 6 burglaries in a day. A few days of doing this and the crime rate can rise dramatically in just a short time. When we catch these persons the crime rate drops just as dramatically. We will catch these people and things will return to normal. The most effective way to catch these burglars is through help from the public. Deputies can not be everywhere and most burglars are caught when someone calls in a suspicious person or vehicle or when a burglar is caught in the act. I ask everyone to be extra vigilant and be our eyes and ears, it is a cliche but its also very true that crime prevention begins at home.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Democrats Sweep New Mexico!

I have never been more proud to be a Democrat. Congratulations to our next President Barack Obama, Ben Ray Lujan, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, and Harry Teague who will all go to Washington to represent us. Congratulations to all the other candidates who won their races across the state and Thank You to those who lost. It is a very hard thing to put your self out to the public and say vote for me. Even those whom I don't agree with their political views, still have my greatest respect. Thank you for putting your self out there to be judged and to be a part of the political process which makes America the greatest nation in the world.

Monday, November 03, 2008

One More Day!

How many of you remember Jan 20, 2007? That was the day Hillary Clinton announced her run for the Presidency of the United States of America. How about Jan 21, 2007? That was the day Bill Richardson announced. Better late than never, Senator Barack Obama announced on February 10, 2007. I have to admit I don't know and decided not to look up when John McCain announced. My point is it has been a long 23 months.

Wow, two years of presidential campaigning. Is anyone really undecided? Tomorrow is election day. I am not sure that means much anymore, There is no longer an election day as early and absentee voting has surpassed election day voting accross America. In 2000 and 2004 we had long lines on election day as each 4 year cycle brought new records in those who show up at the polls. Now in 2008 more people will have probably voted early and absentee than on election day. This trend is bound to continue to the point where eventually I have no doubt that we will just have an election month and election day will only become the final day of voting.

How many of you are ready for the negative ads to end? ( my hand is in the air, harder to type with one hand). I have grown increasingly weary of the increasingly negative ads, why do they work? Those who are supposedly in the know say they work and thats why they are used. I am ready for real change in the way campaigns are advertised. What will you do, what are your ideas and why do you want our vote? Thats what I long for. I feel like sticking my head out the window and yelling I am sick of it and I am not going to take it anymore. Wish I lived in a highrise for proper effect. Oh well, I would stick my head out my kitchen window and yell to my dogs who would probably look at me like I was an idiot if I thought it would help.

I think this decade will be known in politics as the swiftboat decade, when non issues ruled the day. Hopefully the next decade people will look back and say, what were they thinking? All that aside if you have not voted yet then by all means get out and do so tomorrow! And if by chance I am wrong and you are undecided then let me sway you.


Let me be the last to say, Thank you I am Greg Solano and I approved this message.