We have to give a nod to oft-maligned Trentonian columnist L.A. Parker. In his column this morning he takes on the Zero Tolerance issue.
In the piece, Parker appreciates the Zero Tolerance approach now being taken by law enforcement as a response to the fatal Walnut Avenue arson that cost the life of a 10 year old Qua'Dashia Hopkins. He does touch on the fact that maybe if this had been done sooner, things might not be quite as bad as they are in Trenton. To his credit, Parker does suggest this might have been more of a policy decision from the top than from the cops on the streets.
L.A. also takes up the matter of the community's responsibility for not holding to a zero tolerance level of its own. And we have to agree.
The residents can only do so much, but they can do more than many may realize.
Anyone with a knowledge of Trenton knows that there are and have always been neighborhoods where negative behaviors are tolerated less than in other places. Subsequently these areas become known as "better" or "safer" or "nicer."
All because the residents have determined what is tolerated and what is not and acted accordingly.
The police and other law enforcement officials can only work effectively in conjunction with the public.
The laws on the books are the standards that each must strive to uphold.
Both sides need to do their part if we are to rid our streets of the filth, the crime and the ultimate sadness of what is happening in Trenton.