1. Sen. Herb Kohl will announce a federal grant for the Kenosha Sheriff's Department at 10:30 a.m. today, funds for improved technology in squad cars "to help officers fight crime and improve road safety." We have no idea how much money is involved, or exactly what the funds are for (in-squad video cameras? seat belts?). Kohl, the sheriff and other officials will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. at Fabiano Park, at 818 12th St. to make it all clear. "The resources are being made available this year as Kenosha police have been combating an increase in gang-related and violent incidents in the city," Kohl's press release stated. UPDATE: See below.
Yes, we'll be churlish and wonder whether Kohl has followed crime statistics here in Racine...
2. But, of course, Bloggers notice yet another approach to crime. Along with links to short stories in two MSM outlets about a Kenosha "initiative to combat increasing gang activity and violence," a veritable "crackdown" that already has led to a dozen arrests, blogger OrbsCorbs, writing on the JT Irregulars site, notes:
Meanwhile, authorities in Racine have decided to step up their anti-crime efforts with the announcement that additional sand will be trucked into Monument Square this Friday for local politicians and civic leaders to stick their heads into.Ah, a sense of humor while the bullets fly.
"We're not quitting until we don't see a damn thing!" declared one city official.
UPDATE: Here's what Kohl brought Kenosha: $178,600 for the Kenosha Sheriff's Department. As I guessed above, the funds "will assist with the installation of digital cameras in police vehicles that will be used in evidence gathering and as a deterrent for street crime."
Kohl said: "This summer has been a tough one for the people of Kenosha, and a reminder that our police officers need every advantage they can get to do their jobs and keep the peace. With these funds, the Sheriff’s Department will be able to upgrade the technology they use to gather evidence to catch criminals and protect ordinary, law-abiding citizens.”
Specifically, the federal funds will enable the department to purchase and install 38 video cameras in all of its police squad units. On May 16, 2007, a Kenosha deputy was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop. "This tragic event highlights an important function of in-car video cameras – to gather evidence. In this case, thanks to tips from residents and great police work, a suspect was taken into custody. However, had the deputy’s vehicle been equipped with an in-car digital camera, it would have served as a safeguard to ensure that the perpetrator could be identified, shed light on what happened at the scene, and serve as irrefutable evidence when the perpetrator is charged with killing the officer," Kohl said.