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Police priorities still in doubt

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To protect and serve the community is the heart of a police department’s mission; however, recent events have led many among the student body to doubt that protecting and serving Notre Dame students is a priority of the South Bend Police Department. It is debatable how much a loud party of mostly underage drinkers taking place in a student neighborhood affects the non-University members of this city.

That is not the point. The ceaseless dispute that Notre Dame students are a hazard to South Bend is irrelevant. The point is that raids demonstrate how authorities in South Bend feel the necessity to target students; what is relevant are the recent crimes committed against students. Some members of the South Bend community physically harmed some members of the Notre Dame community. The city has targeted students, and in the meantime, failed to act in their defense.

Although I would like to believe no part of South Bend wishes harm on students, it speaks volumes about the mission of this city’s government that resources are being spent to reprimand students instead of protect them. Had funds been directed toward better security at Turtle Creek, rather than last weekend’s raids, the female resident may never have been assaulted in her own apartment. Had police been patrolling the streets of the city rather than busting student parties, the Notre Dame student may not have been robbed on his walk back to campus.

The change that needs to be made will not result because of my Viewpoint editorial, or with a thousand more letters to the editor. The distressing thing is what ultimately will cause change will be something far worse than a robbery or an unsuccessful breaking-and-entering. It is just like the dangerous intersection that needs a traffic light: no matter how many mothers write letters to the councilman, it isn’t until a fatal car crash that the light will be constructed. My only hope is that someone who can make a difference will step in and do something before the two cars collide.

Kaitlin Devine


Walsh Hall

Sept. 7