"Can anyone in this country say the war on drugs has been a success? If they can, I really don't know who they are. ... We've had victories here and there. But have we solved the drug problem in America?"He claims he would trade "drug arrests" for arrests of violent criminals. I figured there was probably some overlap, but I will defer to the expert.
As for his take on the cultural issues that create crime, I think he goes a bit off base.
"I can tell you this ... without trepidation: We need real investments - and there have been incremental investments - there needs to be real, real work on drug treatment in this city. That has to be done. And we need to come to grips with that. We need real treatment programs, and they have to be effective. That is as important as holding me accountable for arresting more drug offenders. It can't be one or the otherEmphasis mine. Yes, there is a gang situation, and a "culture of violence", but aren't these things all connected to something? Why is there a mindset about carrying guns in this city? What mindset permits such violence? I think that the commissioner should consider further how intrinsic the drug trade is to the current street mentality.
We can't lose sight of the single biggest thing affecting this city, and that is this culture of violence. We will do drug enforcement. We will look at murders. We will look at thefts. We will do that. But we have to move a comprehensive strategy on focusing on violent offenders. You have to admit there's a gang situation here, and then you have to develop strategies to move forward on that. You have to recognize there's a mindset about carrying guns in this city."
Either way, go and read the whole article. Mr. Bealfeld is certainly an improvement , and his willingness to address the overzealous arrests of his department is refreshing. Best of luck.