(Fox News Baltimore) As the number of street crimes committed in Baltimore City escalates, so does the level of fear. This has caused communities to look beyond the police for protection.
In Baltimore City there are four special tax districts where residents pay more to make their neighborhoods safer. Charles Village is one of them and has the lowest surtax of the four.
It was formed in the mid-1990s as a way for the community to provide supplemental security and sanitation services to what the city was already providing. The surtax charged to homeowners has never been altered.
Baltimore’s Little Italy community is one of the latest to seek to hire its own private security force, following the recent beating and robbery caught on a private security camera. The added layer of security is an effective one, City Councilman James Kraft says. “We’ve had this effort undertaken in Greektown. We’ve talked about it in Highlandtown and we’ve done it during St. Patrick’s Day at O’Donnell square.
It works – it’s proven and we want to implement it where ever we can,” Kraft said. Oftentimes it’s the same people being paid to keep the community safe. “We have a program that allows us to hire off duty police officers and it allows us to get officers in neighborhoods where we have greater concerns,” Kraft said.
From the book, Part IV, chapter 3:
The idea is not to get rid of laws but to localize them and make them relevant. It is to stress, as Elinor Ostrom puts it, “rules in use” as opposed to “rules in form”—that is, rules devised by the people and community and suited for their needs as opposed to those devised by government officials and enforced as a way to maintain hierarchy.
Only individual and personal regulation can prevent the kind of systemic collapse and hardship seen in the 2008 downturn because only the individual can take into account all the factors that may affect him. Sure, occasional failure on the personal plane is as inevitable as memory loss, but it is much less likely than failure on the interpersonal or impersonal level. In the end, it is much less maddening to lose money, time, or effort because of one’s own mistake than because of negligence by some anonymous stranger.
Self-regulation, like self-governance in general, is a form of polycentric order and flourishes naturally in response to any kind of social circumstance. American lawyer and writer Tom W. Bell pointed out that this kind of natural law has become manifest in communities around the West in the last century in response to increasingly abstract and out-of-touch federal governments. As Bell has shown, what he calls ‘polycentric law’ is thriving in three vital aspects of modern life: arbitration (with alternative dispute resolution firms), community organization (with homeowners’ associations and gated communities), and the Internet (with just about everything having to do with it). In these and other areas, individuals and groups have organized and created rules that stipulate shared ideals and help to establish order, all in effort to fill the absence of coherent state laws or to counter unjust government action. In general, the pattern has been clear: Where the state has been lacking, private interests have stepped up to fulfill the need for order.