Editor, The Commercial:
I was disappointed to read about alderman George Stepps’ proposal to require “certain businesses” to install security cameras. I
seriously doubt the city can legally require a business owner to install and operate cameras in their business, much less enforce such an ordinance. This is a great example of addressing the symptom rather than the problem. Although statistics indicate that the reported crime in Pine Bluff is on the decline, anyone living in or frequenting Pine Bluff knows that crime itself is not declining.
Here’s an idea: Why doesn’t the city install cameras at strategic locations in an effort to try to catch criminals? Oh wait, it
seems like I remember reading something in the paper about the city spending a substantial amount of taxpayer’s money on a sophisticated camera system, but I don’t remember the cameras status or effectiveness being mentioned afterward.
The bottom line is that Pine Bluff needs new leadership, someone who will acknowledge and aggressively address the real problems the city faces, not try to punish the innocent citizens and business owners because they (the city’s leaders) can’t seem to do anything about the crime problem. Citizens of Pine Bluff need to be sent a strong message that crime will not be tolerated, and the city leaders need to work with their resources to ensure this message is enforced.
When criminals are handed a strong message that they are not welcome here, they will move somewhere else where their behavior is tolerated. The current leadership is either unaware or incapable of addressing the problems or simply chooses to overlook the problems in hopes they’ll somehow fix themselves or go unnoticed.