"Dirty Harry" soldiers of fortune described in your article may keep drug dealers and users out of tenement housing, but, as you note correctly, it's at the expense of a tragic loss of civil rights. Nor does it end the sale and use of drugs; it just moves the place for the action.
We will never deal with this problem until we provide communities with effective police protection, and programs within each community for social and recreational outlets that provide alternative behavior patterns.
What's overlooked by those who oppose tax increases is the fact the security patrol programs are costly. Has anyone studied what's being spent for such services throughout the city?
Knowing the minimum response time by police was 45 minutes to calls for assistance, the residents of the Palisades Highlands installed their own security program. The 16 homeowner associations assessed their members on a shared basis for three 24-hour roving patrols, gated association entrances where possible with an on-site guardhouse in one instance, and a campaign for individual home alarm systems and services.
However, I can't help but wonder why can't we work out an arrangement for a "Rent a Policeman" program that provides extra revenue for the Police Department to augment the department's income.
HYMAN H. HAVES
\o7 Haves was the founding president of the Palisades Highlands Home Owners Assn. and remains its community liaison chairman.