Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Making Purple People Bridge Safer.

A couple was walking at 11:30 PM on a weeknight across the Purple People Bridge. A gunman tied up the guy, and forced the woman to walk the rest of the way across the bridge and withdraw money from an ATM. She was then raped and dropped off at Cincinnati Bible College.

In a perfect world taking a walk at night along the river would be a great way to spend and evening. But, let’s think this through … the bridge extends from downtown Cincinnati to Newport. On a Thursday at 11:30 PM it’s a pretty desolate place.

When the guy called 911 there was confusion about who was supposed to respond to the call, Cincinnati Police or Newport Police. Not a huge deal, both responded and dealt with the incident.

In the aftermath Newport Police Department, Cincinnati Police Department, Southbank Partners and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission met to discuss how to make the bridge safer.

Call boxes and cameras have been recommended as well as added lighting. Those items are both great ideas; however would they have helped the girl who was abducted? Probably not. The added lighting and more prevalent cameras may have discouraged the attacker, but those things do not prevent crime.

I am all for making any part of the city safer but some common sense is in desperate need. Let’s make the small changes on the bridge and move on to bigger problems.

We need to take responsibility for our actions. Walking in isolation at night even as a couple is not safe. How many girls need to be raped to make women aware of their surroundings? Risky behavior often ends in tragedy.

What is a far greater problem is when people are not engaged in risky behavior and they are attacked. Christmas is right around the corner. How many people are attacked in broad daylight in mall parking lots? That crime is more shocking and more difficult to prevent.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I am not sure that a person walking in a "less dangerous" part of a downtown area means that they are asking for something bad to happen. (I know there are far worse parts of the city than anywhere near that bridge). As you pointed out, violence even strikes in the middle of the day.

What bothers me is that we have lost freedom in America by not punishing criminals to the full extent of the law. We accomodate the criminals while we flee to our homes for safety when the sun goes down hoping it will be safe to leave our houses when the sun comes up. Our current method of dealing with crime is "if you don't bother them, they won't bother you". I agree though that adding security cameras will be no solution either.

I was encouraged to see how Americans banded together to fight for their lives on flight United 93. I was hoping this was the begining of Americans rising up for what is right. Perhaps there is some more of that desire still left with us. If that be the case then there still is hope. Otherwise, we have no one to trust and no hope for a brighter future in this lifetime.

We might as well consider all crime as just another problem in our lives like a flooded basement or a flat tire.

If there is courage among the people of the cities then they need to let their "leaders" know that they do not condone the function of crime and they insist it must be dealt with and that they will add themsleves to the ranks of addressing the issue if that is what it takes to live in a city where adults and children can live in safety without constant fear.

Perhaps I have the courage to act as I have mentioned here. I hope I do because I do believe it is needed regardless of how scared I may feel.

The problem with this girl's attack stems from a man's sick desire to break the law. That doesn't seem like her responsibility. Fear should not belong to the girl, the fear should belong to the criminal.

Katrina said...

People don't ask for crimes to happen to them... girls don't ask to be raped. But when they put themselves in situations where the chances of being attacked go up, we as a community should not be shocked.

Great thoughts ... thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I do not think we should hid in our homes hoping to be safe either. The police catch the bad guys, the court then puts them away, then they are let go for good behavior to do it again. There is the problem. As a tax payer I don't want to pay for someone to be in jail forever, but I don't want someone who isn't going to change let loose either. They should go to jail and loose their right to a good life. Some of those jails are better than my home. The food is free, cable tv is free, books magazines are free, and they have all the time in the world to do as they wish. The only restriction is where they are. Get back to basics folks, thats the only way to deal with crime. Give the police their balls back and let them do their job. Vote out any judge that is not harsh with them when they are caught. Hold the parole board accountable for a half ass job. Change the laws to represent the innocent and the victoms not the criminal. Stand up for yourself people - stop waiting for someone else to think for you and act for you. Wake up and make changes.