Saturday, December 26, 2009

Teen Shootings in Ferndale

The holiday season was marred in Ferndale in mid-December when teen violence, apparently gang-related according to police reports, resulted in the death by gunfire of one teen boy and another critically wounded. The first such disaster in Ferndale is unfortunately all too common in our nation's large cities. A full scale community mobilization is called for to begin to address and prevent this type of severe societal dysfunction from further affecting and infecting our community.

It was the friday before Christmas week when the sweet sixteen party was held at the VFW Hall in dowtown Ferndale. Everything went well until members of a youth gang, reportedly based in Detroit near the fairgrounds, crashed the party bringing a shotgun. Minutes later, one teen was lying dead on the floor, another critically wounded. Although police arrived very quickly, the shooter managed to escape, and at the time of this writing, had not been identified. The shooting happened at about a quarter past midnight.

Lots of questions remain, including the issue of teens being out at such a late hour, and the wisdom or folly of posting events such as a teen party on Facebook for all the world to see.

While the Ferndale police are among the best in the land, they cannot solve the larger societal problem of teens and gun violence by themselves. Even working with other law enforement departments from Detroit, Wayne and Oakland Counties, they need unity of purpose and comprehensive plans from all of the stakeholders in the community. The schools, teachers,
parents, not for profit groups, government, and religious institutions must unite and work together to try and address the growing problem and keep it from getting worse.

In Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and countless other large cities in America, teens with guns are a growing danger and menace to our civilized society. Whether the problem stems from easy access to guns, parents who are disengaged or absent, peer pressure, unemployment and poverty or a violence-soaked culture, we all must work together to send the message of zero tolerance to shootings and murder among your youth.


At 5:21 AM, Blogger Angela said...

With this being said, I am alarmed that I am hearing rumors that Ferndale is looking to cut our Police Department. This is unacceptable to me! Ferndale has always had the best Police Department around and with boardering Detroit, it is a neccessity. It should be the ABSOLUTE last thing to go. With out the safety of our children, we have nothing! I am VERY upset about this. If this happens, it will definitely make my family start to look else where. We love Ferndale, but need to feel safe. Reducing our police force will only bring more crime, reduce our already plumting house values and lower the quality of our city.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Craig Covey said...

Thanks Angela:

You are correct,
We need a strong and effective and efficient police force. And we will always keep a strong public safety system in Ferndale. We are seeking ways to cut costs without lessening our strong police resonse, and I am confident in the men and women of the Ferndale Police Force to keep us safe.
That said, there are always ways to reduce costs, and be more efficient. We have more police per capita, and more command and support staff than any city in Michigan. We will keep the city safe while making our departments more efficient, focusing on patrol right here in our city.


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