Thursday, April 25, 2013

Safety and Security Not Hypothetical

I picked the right time to go to lunch yesterday. While I was out, a very scared man ran into the lobby and yelled "there's a man with a gun in the parking lot!" KCJJ:
Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a man they say pulled a gun during an altercation near the Johnson County Administration Building.

According to arrest records, a passerby observed 24-year-old Anthony David Kendricks grabbing a female by the neck just before 1:30pm Wednesday in the Administration Building parking lot. The man tried to stop the assault when Kendricks allegedly pulled out a gun. The victim later told investigators he was “scared to death” that Kendricks would use the weapon, so he walked away and told Kendricks, “You win”.

A short time later Iowa City Police and sheriff’s deputies found Kendricks and the woman he had grabbed walking together near the corner of Clinton and Washington Streets.

Kendricks was arrested and charged with Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon. If convicted he faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Needless to say, this was the main topic of conversation around the office yesterday afternoon. (As a frequent ICPD critic I should add that the officers I saw yesterday seemed very professional, and thanks to them and the Sheriff's department for taking care of things.)

I know I'm going to get trashed for bringing this back to the justice center election. Feel free to argue about numbers of beds and larger justice system issues, and this was of course at a different building.

But: don't belittle the concept of safety and security. That's a very real concern. I've seen lots of angry citizens over the years, over the relatively small issues of a set of license plates or an unexpected voting glitch or a pile of paperwork, in addition to a couple of people with very obvious mental health issues.

Now: move that to the courthouse and multiply that exponentially to REALLY big issues like losing your kids, or going to prison. That's dangerous -- not just for us public employee union goons but for any member of the public who happens to be looking for a record or reporting for jury duty.

That said, I'm going to work. Come on down and I'll get you a ballot.

No comments: