Street Gangs Here?
As I drove by the Broad Street Business Centre on North West Broad Street in Southern Pines, I admired beautiful lush pine and wondrous dogwood. Then I saw gang graffiti.
After 30 years in L.A., I am familiar with gang shootings and drug deals, so I wanted to know which gang has come to dominate Southern Pines streets.
A quick Internet search reveals that the Black Deciples (sic), a Chicago-oriented street gang, may control our crime.
Former Mayor Guilliani of New York pioneered an idea known as the "Broken Windows Theory" of policing. He said that one must fix minor crime immediately -- the first "broken window" before more are broken and the neighborhood loses its middle class status and self- respect.
I spoke to the building owner. He says he is waiting for his condo association to remove the blight. The town manager says it is the problem of the building owner. In short, very little is being done.
Southern Pines must enact an ordinance requiring graffiti to be removed within 48 hours. Imagine a prospective Southern Pines home buyer strolling down Broad Street and seeing the sign of a Chicago gang. This stuff costs homeowners in Southern Pines as much as 25% of home value, or $50,000 on a $200,000 home.
I hope Southern Pines wakes up because it is now "the big city" with plenty of shopping, plenty of golf. Its own street gang could terrorize the population. This is a cancer that destroys, and I am determined that this will not happen here.
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