By Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph
Hello Skid Row. I would like to talk about respect. On many occasions, when I walk down the street, the criminal element begins to scatter, and those that cannot move fast enough hide their illegal contraband and devices. Others are ordered by members of the community to get up, so I could have my "respect".
I want to inform you that though we all should respect one another, it is your right to respect me or have distain for me. Whichever way one chooses to feel, I am mandated to show respect to all whether they respect me or not. Please know that I am not above you because of the badge I wear. I am no more extraordinary or special than any other man or woman. I have simply been given the honorable responsibility of ensuring public safety, and that all laws of this city are observed. So if you respect me. That's nice. I appreciate it. But if you don't, that's fine too, as long as you respect the law. That is my primary concern because when the laws are obeyed, lives, and the quality of life are preserved.
But I would like to discuss something that we all should respect in this area, and that is the diligent work of the service provider community (i.e. drug programs, shelters, alcohol programs, and mental health services).
Nothing irritates me more than when people who seek assistance with beating their addictions within these safe havens in the community, are hurt by people who hinder their efforts by selling and using narcotics directly behind and sometimes within drug programs and shelters.
That to me is the height of disrespect. If you do not respect yourself and do not want to change your life, no one should impede the service provider community's efforts to help change the lives of those with the desire to change via narcotics sales, usage, and other illegal acts.
That is selfishness to the highest degree. I believe in every human being is a capacity for decency. So if you are a dealer or an addict that refuses to change, have the decency not to stand in the way of those who do want to do something better with their lives, as well as the people that are trying to help them.
To assist you in that, I will be adding enhancements to those arrested for selling narcotics, behind or within 1000 feet of any mission or shelter (11380.7 of the Health and Safety Code). It should not have to come to that, but it may be necessary.
I am seeking your voluntary compliance before I take action. I would like for all those in need of help to take advantage of the services offered in this area. But if that does not interest you, stay away from the missions when you are violating the laws, and yourselves.
Also, respect the men and women from within your community who are trying to bring art and beauty to the San Julian corridor, and taking it upon themselves to sweep the streets. Respect them by utilizing the trashcans that are placed on the sidewalks with you in mind. Show pride in your area, because if you don't respect where you live, no one else will.
For those trying to get control of your lives, you are in my constant prayers. Please let me know when you graduate. I would love to support you in anyway I can, because I believe that there is hope for skid row. That is why I police the way I do. I want to help create an environment conducive to positive change in your lives.
God bless you all.