Mission Station Captain Robert Moser reported in his weekly news-letter that three suspects were arrested in connection with two late night vandalism sprees in Dolores Park. We note that these arrests had the help of the Graffiti Abatement Unit.
A link between late night graffiti and tagging in Dolores and other more serious crimes is a connection we have been trying to draw attention to for some time. If we ignore underage drinking and loitering by at risk youth and street punks, if there is no attempt to regain some control over the park at night, we are inviting vandalism, graffiti and violence.
Yes, these arrests are great news, but they need to act as a catalyst for a larger discussion. We need to choose between total freedom or the rule of law. Do we direct the police and the parks department to act to prevent crime or do we just have them clean-up the blood and broken glass afterwards?
As the rules now stand, the police find it impossible to “selectively enforce” the no-drinking rule. The community needs to do the hard work of naming what is acceptable, beneficial park use and what actions invite trouble.