MARK ALLEN TALKS -- Ronald Holt Must Overcome Chicago Mayor Daley's "Symbolic" Appointment as new Director of Chicago's community policing program
I called Ronald Holt and congratulated him on accepting the appointment by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley as the new Director of the C.A.P.S. (Community Alternative Pocicing Strategies) program, and how he was going to need tremendous support to overcome the decisions of Mayor Daley and Chicago Police Chief Jody Weis have made that currently makes Holt's position one that is currently founded in "symbolism" versus one of substance.
Despite crime being down under the tenures of Former Police Chief Cline and Starks, the things that made the community partnerships with CAPS then so strong were seriously and negatively impacted by the decisions of Daley and Weis and the high profile name of Ronald Holt is supposed to remedy those decisions and rebuild thre former success and strength of the CAPS program.
Ronald Holt has worked so close with the community in the streets and has seen first hand that the tensions in the streets and police have grown so distant to the point where they don't fear direct confrontations with the polcie themselves and proved recently with the attempted robbery and murder of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV; Holt has seen where a lot of good parents in the community have allowed the desperate economic conditions have drawn them and many of the children into the gang, drug, and other illegal street economies trying to make ends meet for them and their families; and Holt has seen first hand how their just are not enough "hands-on" resources coming out of CAPS like it was years ago, and surely knows that its going to take more than just words and good intentions to rebuild CAPS.
With Holt's knowledge of these realities, he has to know just how much of an infusion of renewed community relationships, partnerships, attitudes, and resources from public and private resources it's going to take for him to be successful in his role as the new CAPS Director, and the community and media must report properly on the reality of what Holt is going to face so that later he cannot be accused later of not being able to use his high profile status to overcome the negative insurmountable odds and environment that the past decisions of Daley and Weis have left Holt to start with in his new position.
And for Holt, can he maintain the active working relationships with current Mayoral and Police critics people like myself, Phillip Jackson of The Black Star Project and Peace In The Hood, Wallace "Gator" Bradley and other community leaders and activists who still keep connections with various street organizations who used to trust in the leadership and rapport with former Police Chief Dana Starks and former CAPS leaders and with those relationships CRIME WAS DOWN. It will be a challenge to rebuilding needed community and street relationships as to whether many of those street alliances that has worked with Holt with his private crime intervention initiatives will be welcome into the new outreach of the CAPS proceses. A lot of us have seen and know why CAPS had better relationships, what had forced people away, and what Holt will need in rebuilding those and new relationships for CAPS success and growth foir the serious challenges ahead of Holt.
I can already attest to the difference in CAPS new leadership in that I have had in that I have already had two extensive conversations with the new CAPS Director in 48 hours of his appointment for dialogue that I can ever recall having with the former CAPS director. But again, the initial conversations I have had with Ronald will not be able to be of substance if he is handicapped by the environment left by the former negative staffing and program budget cuts of Mayor Daley and the hierchy of police personel staffing of Chicago Police Chief Jody Weis. Ronald Holt and all the promise his appointments can represents deserves the proper support to succeed and become more than a ":symbolic" appointment.
Mark S. Alle
Associate Editor of The South Street Journal Newspaper; Board member of The Chicago Gospel Music Heritage Museum; Founder/President of The Black Leadership Development Institute, BLDI, and Board member of The Black Wall Street-Chicago Project. 449 East 35th Street, 1st Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60616 (312) 624-8351 or (773) 392-0165