The economy sucks, which has led to local and state government budgets being slashed across the board. Even theoretically “critical” line-items like law enforcement aren’t safe from the budget axe – overtime, I’m told, is basically a thing of the past, and new equipment – hell, new recruits, new anything – are becoming as scarce as rocking-horse poop.
As far as I can tell, these cuts to police budgets are supposed to be more-or-less invisible (“transparent”) to the average citizen / taxpayer. For the most part this is probably working.
For the most part, anyway.
I was out for a bike ride over the weekend…
…and found myself rolling down the bike path that runs behind (or next to, depending on how pedantic you want to be) one of the police stations here in Saint Paul. Imagine my surprise when I saw this:
Sorry for the crappy photo, I didn’t have a good camera with me.
All the windows on the lower floor are boarded, and have been for (apparently) some time, judging from how weathered the (unpainted!) plywood is.
From what I can tell, someone broke several of the windows at some point over the winter, and the City of Saint Paul couldn’t find the money to repair them… or even cover them up properly.
This isn’t some textbook depository for the school district, or a maintenance building for Parks and Recreation. It’s a freaking police station!
Sorry, folks. The bad guys have won.