Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crime Lab in Springfield: Deja Vu All Over Again

If I question the way the crime lab is funded, if I question the need for a crime lab in Springfield, does that mean I am in favor of crime and rewarding criminals? A current Springfield City Council member told me that in 2002 when I raised the same questions.

As I recall when the crime lab was put to a vote of the people it failed, miserably. Supporters of the crime lab said it failed only because there were things tacked onto the proposal, like an early childhood education center, that supporters didn't like. If those attachments were not attached, the proposal would have passed, supporters said.

That didn't happen. Instead the state coughs up $400,000 from the state's leasing budget, and the remaining $1.5 million will have to be appropriated by the General Assembly during the next two years. Bob Dixon said the crime lab had lots of support in Jefferson City this year but IT STILL DIDN'T PASS. Republican Governor, Republican Senate, Republican House of Representatives, Republican US congressman and IT STILL DIDN'T PASS? What am I missing?. Do we have any guarantees it will pass in the next two years? I don't usually buy something unless I know I have the means to pay for it, should the city be any different?

The lab will cost 5.9 million dollars. 1.9 million comes from the state and the remaining 4 million comes from city funds and $2.7 million dollars in city bonds.

For five years the city and county pay only interest of about $135,000, adjustable-rate (I recall that tv commercial about adjustable rate loans and the monkey on the lady's back--not a very favorable image), and the principal payment is due in five years.

Let's see, by 2012, someone will have to cough up $4,000,000.00 for a crime lab that will probably be out of date by then. Too many ifs involved here.

Why wasn't the money spent on updating or reducing the evidence-analysis workload at the current crime lab in Jefferson City?

Because people are AFRAID. Springfield Chief of Police Lynn Rowe said, "The people who really benefit from all of this are the victims as well as the accused." Guilty people will be convicted more quickly What? What? The Chief Cop in Springfield says "Guilty people will be convicted more quickly." Cops determine guilt? I thought the courts did that, but here in Springfield, we got drugs and thugs. And they are all black. And gang members from Chicago. Scary the heck out of the law abiding citizens of the town.

So, let's spend money we ain't got for a problem that doesn't exist. Yeah, we're tough on crime. No, that's not it. A lot of money is being spent on the area north of the square. Where is this money coming from? That's the question. Who decided to spend all this money down there? Who is footing the bill?

I got more questions than answers. My son and his wife are at Cox Hospital having a baby. Gotta run

No comments: