After reading the article on Judge Richter’s visit to the neighborhood watch meeting April 25, I would like to present an alternate thought.
Leadership is a big portion of our problem. Having experienced his position at our community level, it appears that the "revolving door" philosophy, which Richter discounted, needs to be presented and explained a bit differently to be understood.
Blaming the drugs and mental state, but not the offender, simply does not work. Our community members are the victims, not the offenders. The judge’s philosophy appears to be budget-driven rather than performance-based. When this is implemented at the top of the judicial branch, prosecutors are less likely to present cases, knowing the outcome will be counseling, minimal sentencing and catch and release.
All of this explains law enforcement's approach to apprehending, doing the due diligence and “acting” on community-reported, ongoing problems. The recent article has pointed out quite clearly that our system is broken.
If anyone thinks that counseling and minimum sentencing will help deter the crime in our area, there’s oceanfront property for you in Arizona. What the judge has failed to address is that much of the crime comes from over the bridge. Local authorities, having jurisdiction here, have known all too well for years about the criminal element within our “villages.” They have shared that it is frustrating when the judicial system is so light handed and does not give them the enforcement-level tools needed to effectively do their jobs.
Based on this newspaper article of the neighborhood watch meeting alone, I cannot support this incumbent to be our judge at this time. Recommendation: Administer harsher sentencing and the maximum allowed. We would be sending messages to the community that “minimum” will be a thing of the past. This would be a great benefit to the safety and peace of mind for our community. “Minimal”, if any, consequences for illegal activity merely encourages criminals to come to our area.