Over the past few weeks of this first quarter I have been shocked at the amount of rapes and beatings that have happened throughout I.V. After this most recent incident reported in last Friday’s paper, I decided that I had to say something about the painfully obvious problem, which has yet to be addressed.
The police are supposed to serve and protect. But lately, I have to question who they have actually been protecting. Are they truly protecting when they hand our friends MIPs in their own front yards while they’re quietly drinking with their other friends? Or how about when they ticket a 21-year-old who accidentally wanders a little outside of the fence and is given an open container violation? Or when they hide in a park, waiting for someone to piss in a bush?
Frequently, I see five or six cops congregating outside small parties, just waiting to give a naive freshman an MIP when he steps a little out of bounds with his cup. This is not protecting! This is where the cops are when people are getting raped and beaten.
Some people have pointed fingers at the UCSB students, and said, “This is your fault.” Yet out-of-towners, or at least people who do not attend our school, commit the majority of these violent acts. So now I’m pointing my finger at the police department and saying, “This is their fault.” How many beatings do they stop when they arrest someone for pissing in a field? How many cops does it take to hand out MIPs at a party?
I have nothing against cops; they serve a very real purpose and are absolutely necessary. But what we need to question is the efficacy of our police. They have been proven incompetent. Our cops have lost sight of their purpose and have failed to accomplish their objective: to serve and protect. Our police department has been hiding behind the idea that controlling a party and handing out MIPs will stop violence before it starts. This is true, to a certain degree, but it’s not everything. Once the parties end, violent crimes begin, yet the cops go home because there aren’t any parties left.
On Halloween night, three friends of mine were attacked by six out-of-towners, right in front of DŽjˆ Vu (only two blocks away from the police station). Where were the cops? On DP of course, handing out MIPs.
Troy Greenberg is a sophomore biochemistry/molecular biology major.