What's the solution to erie's crime problem?
Is it inevitable because of our location between Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Detroit?
Is it inevitable because of our high poverty rate?
Kevin MacDowell looks at what the five Erie City Council candidates had to say about the issue, in this week's candidate's debate.
Crime in the city.
We see it play out everyday on the news.
Whether it's a robbery at a convenience store, or a home invasion which ends in death.
And, the issue was front and center in tuesday night's city council debate at the jefferson educational society.
All five candidates tackled the question, posed by moderator Lisa Adams,"violent crime in the city, especially involving Erie's youth, continues to plague the city. Is the anti violence task force making a dent and is the police force playing a big enough role in that task force process."
The first to answer was James Winarski, "I honestly believe with the resources we have, we are. we're at that center hub between Detroit, buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh which is unfortunate."
Next was Curtis Jones, Jr., "we have to be be careful not to expect government or police just to deal with crime for example. I think it's a community issue, I think there are organizations involved in this process and the more we get answers from people experiencing these crimes, that's how we can come to a solution."
John Evans started by praising Neighborhood Watch groups,"I've developed a tremendous respect for these watch groups. They do a wonderful job and the saturation units are really making a difference. The other issue is blight remediation. We have to do a good job with blight remediation because that's where a lot of the crime takes place."
Kaz Kwitoski pointed to the need for jobs, "We need to look at poverty and opportunity. Poverty breeds a lot of this and opportunity to make money leads to a lot of these things like illegal activities."
David Brennan agreed, "we need to support whatever youth activities we could so the kids are off the streets. as Kaz mentioned, we need good jobs. It helps with all these things we're talking about."
We could see a lot of good paying jobs created by way of bayfront development. Specifically the proposed new hotel, and plans for the old G-A-F site.
The question is, should taxpayers kick in for some of that development?
we'll find out what the candidates are saying about that, tomorrow night.