Police Chief: ''Easy pickings'' for armed robbers in Ohio

Medina- Police Chief Dennis Hanwell fears he can explain the city's recent spate of robberies:

Medina has become easy pickings.

In less than four months, since layoffs shrank the police force by 25 percent, six armed robberies have been reported in Medina, as many as were reported in all of 2002, Hanwell said.

"Armed robbery is a high-risk crime," Medina Detective Scott Thomas said. "You have to feel real comfortable or real desperate. By comfortable I mean you have to feel like you're going to get away with it."

"Robbery is a crime of, first, opportunity and, second, of desire. We have no control over desire," Hanwell said. "But criminals will go where they think they have the least chance of getting caught."

OFCC PAC Commentary:
How true these words are, and they can be spoken of the entire state of Ohio, not just the Cleveland suburb of Medina.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

No matter the number of police officers, the fact is only you can be counted on to defend you. If Chief Hanwell truly wants to create an environment that does not promote "easy pickings", he should get vocal about his townspeople's rights to self-defense.

A Dept. of Justice survey found that 40% of felons chose not to commit at least some crimes for fear their victims were armed, and 34% admitted having been scared off or shot at by armed victims. (James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous, Aldine de Gruyter, 1986)

The police are not required to protect individual citizens -- In Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d 1, 1981), the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled, "official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for failure to provide adequate police protection ... this uniformly accepted rule rests upon the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular citizen ... a publicly maintained police force constitutes a basic governmental service provided to benefit the community at large by promoting public peace, safety and good order." In Bowers v. DeVito (686 F. 2d 616, 1982), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, "(T)here is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen."

Nationally-renowned Charleston (SC) Police Chief Reuben Greenberg recently told a group of business owners, frustrated by a rash of robberies, that one particular downtown business in a high-crime area hasn't been held up in 20 years because the owner and employees, including the guy mopping the floor, are armed. Try as they might, and great as they are, law enforcement is still most often relegated to cleaning up after the crime has occurred, rather than actually preventing it from happening. As Greenberg put it, "this is the kind of world [we] live in."

Click here to read the entire story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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