ring kalamazoo
Courtesy Ring.com
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The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan has decided to fund an oddly-named “gun violence” Intervention program. Odd, because nothing in it actually intervenes in any violence.

Like so many cities in 2020, Kalamazoo has experienced big percentage increase in violent crime. According to fox17online.com the southwest Michigan city “has seen a 71% increase in gun-related homicides compared to last year. It has also seen a 122% increase in non-fatal shootings.”

The program consists of four sub-programs, each one to be funded at $25,000, for a total of $100,000. Let’s look at how the city plans to spend citizens’ tax dollars.

Block Club Project: “Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo (SPK) is an initiative that originated with the Kalamazoo City Commission’s decision in 2014 to make poverty reduction a key priority for the city. … SPK identified three distinct but interrelated goals to carry out its work: 1) increase access to good jobs; 2) ensure the healthy growth, development, and learning of all our youth; and 3) create strong families.”

How many “good jobs” will $25,000 create?

A better approach would be to offer business sales and property tax breaks to move into the targeted areas and create jobs for locals. And a strong promise of increased policing around their businesses might be another incentive to take the risk.

Community Healing: “Funds are proposed to support community efforts underway to improve access to culturally competent mental health professionals for community members impacted by gun violence.”

It isn’t clear what a “culturally competent” mental health professional is, or how many they can hire with twenty-five grand is explained. Perhaps they can combine this with the “Block Club” to hire one whole social worker at $50,000. For a year.

Housing Rehabilitation: “Funds are proposed to support the development and implementation of a pilot for income eligible residents to receive assistance for home repair after a shooting has occurred.”

Apartment renters will probably decline to make repairs, seeing that as the landlord’s responsibility. Wouldn’t you expect landlords to blow off minor repairs until a unit is vacated anyway? Wouldn’t home owners file an insurance claim?

Which brings us to the final, and in my mind most troubling, proposal.

Increased Security Systems: “The City has been researching security camera initiatives in which municipalities partner with a company to improve access to cameras through discounted, bulk pricing and a streamlined purchase process. Security cameras, video doorbells and alarm systems for residential use can link smartphone users to their devices.”

Specifically, they plan to distribute Ring door cameras to residents in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

Many people, particularly lower income folks, have only their smart phones for Internet access. Ring cameras require Internet access in order to operate; video is streamed to Ring cloud servers. Will the residents the city would most like to see take advantage of this program have non-phone Internet connections? Will the city pay for Internet service for those who do not?

I wonder if the city is even aware of the known security flaws in Ring systems, which allow unauthorized access to Ring audio and video? Would the city be liable for privacy intrusions via city-provided equipment?

At $100 for a the lowest end Ring doorbell camera, you could at most get 250 units with a rather specific and limited field of view. Would it be cost effective to install more conventional security cameras higher on buildings and utility poles, positioned to cover more area? That way, the city would have direct access to the feeds.

With Ring cameras, they will have to canvas residents after an incident happens and hope they haven’t deleted footage already.

This six figure outlay doesn’t really seem to have been well thought out or to be a good use of the city’s tax dollars. And how it will do anything about “gun violence” is anyone’s guess. But at least they aren’t trotting out more 2A rights infringements.

The Kalamazoo mayor’s office didn’t respond to an inquiry about the program.

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  1. Just more smokescreens, bullsh*t, pie in the sky, whatever you choose to call it! So much easier than goin hands on with the criminal element, eh? And in the end, who pays!?

    • Mix dope and demoCrap and the guaranteed results are morons who will use anything and everything they can get their hands on to reek havoc. Think criminal morons are bad? The garbage fixated on Gun Control use the acts of criminals to further an agenda that is rooted in racism and genocide. Such Gun Control Zealots are as bad if not worse than criminals because like criminals, racists and nazis Gun Control Zealots don’t think twice about stripping away your rights. When you are cornered by a criminal you don’t have to worry about what congress or a POTUS will do because if the criminal gets the upper hand kiss all your rights goodbye and that may or may not include your life.

      Any pompous pos who advocates for a disarmed citizenry is on the same level as murderers, thieves, rapists, kidnappers, perverts, child molesters, tyrants or any other sick scumbag who savors the thought of a helpless, unarmed citizen-victim. Bottom line…All I can say to any Gun Control pos is…If you want ’em…Come and Get ’em.

    • Kalamazo in the seventies was more Middle Class. Today it is Slumlords paradise, in many sections of the city. The whole place now has the air of a morgue! Relatives who moved there have all died now and others assumed the cloak of dread and poverty. it seems the central themes of the City and surrounding area is securing welfare for the Residents. Zoning and Sub Regs are truly horrible, and no direction or tax money is spent on redirection, bringing the city back to prosperity to life and elimination of the wide spread “Slum Lord” problem that continues to destroy neighborhoods, whole communities and cities across the country, and it seems in every case a Democrat stronghold! a Democrat Hell! Industry and People don’t want to come into the area, so pervasive is the feel of death” or decline as if it was cursed. There is no positive Leadership in Kalamazoo. The “Welfare Lobby” seems in control and continues to pile up victims and the very spirit of hope and happiness.

      • Thank you @Caaca. That’s a well written indictment of democrat party rule. Except you left out that the rulers line their pockets and the pockets of their cronies with the money that was intended for the improvement of areas like Kalamazoo.

  2. Looks like a program intended to channel $100,000 to subcontractors who are ethnically sensitive.

    Is there any funding for the follow-up evaluation to see if each of these programs can show efficacy?

    Personally, I’m really quite open to speculative experiments and research recognizing that the vast majority will prove to be “dry holes”. Nevertheless, one “producing” “drill” can pay for the entire program.

    Nevertheless, it’s really important to also fund the evaluation. The before condition, the after condition, inquiry into what factors (the experiment, incidental variables) might account to the difference between before and after. Without effective evaluation we can’t learn which experiments were really dry holes and which produced interesting intelligence.

    In this latter case (without evaluation) all we are doing is providing income for a short period to the program participants.

    • “Is there any funding for the follow-up evaluation to see if each of these programs can show efficacy?”

      That’s a good one! They’re following the democrat education model. Just start throwing money at the problem so you can feel good about doing something. Oh, and the people that have been lobbying you get paid. They’ve been doubling down on stupid for decades without reevaluating anything, though I believe they did admit that Common Core set kids BACK in math. It was also more expensive than promised. Thanks Bill Gates! Should we keep trusting that guy?

  3. I am a social worker in Michigan. I value my job, but there are bigger issues than I can solve. I agree wholeheartedly about making these areas safer and more attractive to businesses. But that sounds like evil capitalism, so that can’t be the answer /s

      • Lowering taxes does encourage businesses to open, thereby creating jobs, which would be expected to make life better in the community. However, that gives less rather than more control over peoples’ lives to government, and would make the community less dependent on government. Far better to keep more of the dollars taxpayers earn under their control, and leverage those dollars to their advantage by helping out people who support the election campaigns of Democrats.

        • “However, that gives less rather than more control over peoples’ lives to government, and would make the community less dependent on government.”

          Sad but true. If there was any question about the motives of some people, they answered it with their behavior during the pandemic. They’re crushing small business while asking for someone else’s tax dollars to bail them out. It’s infuriating to watch.

        • The Left needs to keep people who live in ghettos poor, unsafe, and hopeless. It’s part of their strategy for winning elections.

  4. Criticized for pursuing efforts to reduce violence that don’t include restricting gun rights? 🙄

    • Mocked for a completely ineffective, asinine plan. How the hell did you even come up with your comment? That’s borderline non sequitur.

        • @visionless
          You read but do not comprehend. The point was this is just about as stupid as gun laws so it’s good that they didn’t do something even stupider by passing another inane gun law. Problem is, some of the audience is – well, you get what I’m trying to say. Or maybe you don’t.

    • How about getting real about birth control – the kind they use before they get pregnant? Instead of feeding kids that would have died from starvation, organize proper birth control clinics. Much cheaper. If you want to move them where the food is, then move over, because that means they will be living in the industrial world.
      We set this up by handing out antibiotics and vaccinating them. Now we have an overpopulation problem.

    • ” How about move to where the jobs are and workers are needed? ”

      Nobody wants to move to China, that’s why.

  5. The nine most terrifying words in the English language:

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

  6. Random thoughts

    -If my math is remotely correct, these programs in total work out to less than 30 cents per Kalamazoo resident per year.

    -No politician wants to admit it, but the heavy lifting of cultural change, such as “strengthening families”, always has to come from the people in the community. Government can sometimes provide incentives or remove hindrances including ending support for programs that sometimes exacerbate, rather than solve, problems. They cannot “fix” these sorts of problems, however.

    -Quiet honestly, that 100k would probably go farther in reducing crime if it was set aside for rewarding crimestopper tips and C.I.’s. Unless Kalamazoo is radically different from other cities, the overwhelming majority of homicides are going to be related to gang activity and/or drug dealing with “settling beefs” being the next likely cause. Meaning many of the killings are probably connected to the same group of bad eggs.

  7. This sounds like the “We Have To Do Something!” syndrome. Most liberals are afflicted with it. It doesn’t matter if the action taken has any positive results. They just have to do something. This usually involves throwing money down a rat hole and/or passing useless and ineffective laws.

  8. To be honest, the Ring camera part sounds like a good idea. Sure, $25k won’t buy a lot of coverage, but what would you expect for the kind of money people lay out to remodel a bathroom? I think 250 new cameras on street is pretty good bang for your buck. I’d rather have cameras closer in that might actually pick out identifying features, rather than a few eyes in the sky that only shows approximate size and clothing color.
    And having that footage distributed among the citizens who live there, rather than centralized by the surveillance state, is a good thing for privacy and civil liberties.

  9. You should be able to pick up a great deal on a lot of “lightly used” Ring door cams at local pawn shops, on Marketplace or Craig’s list, or eBay within a couple of days of distribution.

  10. MAYBE if theyQUIT letting gun using felons out of jail and quit negotiating guilty please by removing gun charges they would discover a major improvement in communities. Also QUIT paying higher benefits for more than 2 illegitimate babies.

  11. “Will the city pay for Internet service for those who do not?” Nope, use who work each and every day and pay taxes will pay for each person’s Internet services. Why should they work for something when we can pay for them to have it.

  12. What’s with all these minor Midwestern towns?!? Less people than Kenosha…oh wait no one has a job! Slow Joe & the Ho will help😏

    • Creepy Joe and Commissar Kameltoe will take inspiration from their glorious past and put the people to work digging new canals with only their own garden tools. Bonus points for maintaining work quotas through winter. Even the seasons will bend to the will of the party.

  13. So as to not look like complete imbeciles, who haven’t the slightest idea how to solve the REAL problems facing them, they introduce a “we’re doing something program” that really isn’t doing anything. 🤦🏻‍♂️

  14. Isn’t Ring getting sued for a bunch of things?

    Ugh. If you want cameras that you have control over it’s not that hard or expensive.

    Christ, for 3x the price you can have a dozen HD cameras with IR that see quite well out to 100 yards and have it all set the way you want and storing the data it records (based on your preferences) in multiple locations that YOU control without outside interference from anyone. Now if you need that video to defend yourself against bullshit lawsuits or prosecution it can’t be “lost”.

  15. I get the comment on the Ring systems (though I have them on my home and love it). I guess the city also doesn’t realize you have to have a minimum of a $10/month subscription from Ring to save your video information after your initial 30 days of system activation. Hard to believe the waste in taxpayer’s money in allocating money for these boondoggles.

  16. Better off handing out $100 guns to the good citizens to protect themselves, see aka Plano Texas crime rate versus gun ownership!!!%

  17. Poverty does not create crime. That has been debunked over and over for years. Follow the science people.

  18. If you are dumb enough to buy a ring for your home, including indoors, then you deserve it. Not only do you have to pay for a subscription to record, but the fine print says they are allowed to review the footage, even without needing a reason, and that after so many years it can be sold (same as google sells their data).

    The only smart way to record is if you store the recordings yourself, securely, on private hardware. NOT IN THE CLOUD!

    If your recorder requires internet to work… smh, nvm… even people in these comment sections allow this kind of shit in their homes.

  19. People in “low income areas” won’t work with the police during post crime investigations as it is, why will buying them a camera doorbell service change that? They don’t want crime but they don’t want to get involved either so it’s a lose-lose situation.

    Don’t want to help yourself? Live with the consequences.

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