‘Broken Windows’ Policing Strategy and Proximities

Communities and neighborhoods are proximities, and proximities matter. In a telling comment, former police chief Bratton had this brief summary of what Wilson and Kelling were saying with their so-called “broken windows” policing strategy:

“The importance of what Wilson and Kelling wrote was the emphasis not only on crime committed against people but the emphasis on crimes committed against the community, neighborhoods,” Mr. Bratton said.

The above quote is from the New York Times story about James Q. Wilson at the time of his death. They say “his ‘broken windows’ theory of law enforcement laid the groundwork for crime reduction programs in New York, Los Angeles and other cities.” The full story is here.

Explain that to me

I think I’ll start a new series called “Explain that to me.”

On most blocks, and in most neighborhoods, and in most cities, there are no public places to sit outside and have community. Places that are either not privately owned, or not serving some other purpose like a street or sidewalk. Explain that to me. How does that honor the integrity of what humans need?

I wrote this sitting on the ground, on a concrete sidewalk.