February 1, 2012 12:35:00 PM
Dear Judge Marc Amos and Judge Nicole Clinkscales:
More than 60 households in The Northside Neighborhood Watch have realized that citizens must accept responsibility for the quality of life in Columbus. Rather that registering complaints, the Watch identified problems and concerns, and then, through Ward Five Councilman Kabir Karriem, presented potentially positive resolutions. Through the Mayor, the City Council, Chief McQueen and various departments, there have been and will be significant improvements in the area to promote safety of citizens and their property. Such cooperation is productive.
We seek your assistance by supporting the recommendations of Mayor Smith and Chief McQueen that much higher bails be imposed on those who are repeated violators of the law. A bail that allows a nominal payment for release and installment payment does not remove a threat to the community. We urge you to consider the highest possible bail levels for criminals whose arrest illustrates a repetition of past criminal action, attempting, at least, to keep them in custody until conviction or exoneration is determined.
We likewise support Chief McQueen's request for additional personnel, believing that the police department faces greater responsibility as crime rates rise. Higher bails might not deter crime, but they certainly would remove known criminals from the streets.
We understand that fairness and consistency are essential components of your public service, for which we are grateful. We simply ask that you impose maximum bail for any criminal with a record of repeated offenses.