Real World Graduation, Question 69: Defending Your Community

RealWorldGraduation_Question_69_DefendingYourCommunity   <– PDF

A certain community has been plagued by many years of violence by criminal gangs. These gangsters have engaged in street battles in which innocent people, sometimes even small children, were killed in the cross-fire.  They have burned peoples’ houses down, ruined the schools and parks, and hold loud parties that reduce the quality of life in the neighborhood.  Children are afraid to go to school, and people in general are afraid to go outside after dark.  Over the past ten years, 92 innocent people (24 of them children under the age of 10) have been killed by the gangs, with 264 others injured seriously enough to warrant hospitalization.  The local police force has done the best they could with limited resources.  They do manage to arrest a few gangsters after especially infamous crimes, but overall the neighborhood is becoming increasingly dangerous.  Criminal activity by the gangs shows no signs of abating, despite the fact that the members of the gangs are well-known to the police and residents alike.  The residents have found that complaining to City Hall is a waste of time, as the politicians say they are doing the best they can.

A group of residents decides to act in their own interests. They hold a secret meeting and develop a plan to arm themselves, patrol the neighborhood, and attack and kill as many known gang members as they can find.  A local informant finds out about the plan, and reports the residents to the police.  What will happen next?

a) The chief of police arranges a meeting with the residents, and offers to share all the information about the gangs possessed by the police, so that the gangs can be eliminated more efficiently.

b) The chief of police orders his men to assist the residents in any way they can.

c) The mayor intervenes and convinces the residents to abort the plan and also orders the police not to aid the residents. He arranges for representatives of the residents and the various gangs to sit down and discuss the issues in the neighborhood, with the idea that a negotiated settlement can be worked out.

d) The mayor tries to convince the state to fund a jobs-training program for the gang members. At the same time, he convinces the residents to hold off on their plan until the jobs program takes effect.

e) Some combination of the above.

(The answer is on p. 2 of the PDF.)

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