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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Law enforcement has wrong focus

By Anthony Bernardi

I find myself gripped in the clutches of misery and despair, once again unable to escape the hideous fact that we, as students of Northern Michigan University, are trapped in a vicious cycle of obscene extortion. The hideous revelation hit me as I made my way down Wright Street, cruising slowly so as not to eclipse the ridiculously slow speed limit on that foul stretch of land.

Bobbing my head like an over caffeinated geek to a gangster rapper screaming at me through the stereo, I proceeded careful as not to arouse any of the patrol cars that regularly camp in the area.

Despite my vigilance, the familiar wailing of sirens coming from behind me signaled that I pull over immediately. Working up my best puppy-dog eyes, I came to a textbook stop in an empty parking lot as the officer pulled alongside me.

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“Do you have your license and registration?” he asked after making an unnecessarily fast dash out of his car to my driver side window.

Producing the forms of identification, the officer snatched them, retreating for what seemed like a good 15 minutes before returning with a ticket in hand.

“I’m going to issue you a citation for not wearing your seatbelt. Usually I’d need to take your driver’s license because you’re registered out of state, but since you go to Northern, I’ll just give you this ticket payable to the district court,” he explained.

This type of tale is probably not foreign to most Northern students. Patrols have always been frequent on NMU’s rich hunting ground. And why not? With a population so big crammed into a relatively small area, the chance to catch a wrongdoer is doubled, if not tripled. Breaking the law is breaking the law no matter how small a crime, but in light of recent violent events in the community, I question the overwhelming attention police pay students.

The crimes students of Northern Michigan commit, and the subsequent fines, are a large contributor to the local law enforcement budget. MIPs, larceny, assault, and the possession of illegal substances are commonplace.

It seems a weekend cannot pass without squad cars rolling up on some drunken fool who reverted back to a Neanderthal-like state after consuming copious amounts of cheap liquor. Although I believe these individuals should be stopped before partaking in the destruction of every shiny object they encounter within a two mile radius, unnecessary emphasis is being placed upon these sorts of offenses so that the flow of money into law enforcement budget can continue.

Police need to widen their focus rather than key in on less serious crimes that may be committed on campus. I certainly do not want to be caught in the cross fire of a shotgun wielding drug addict, or blown to kingdom come because a pilot light was left on in a secret meth lab a floor below me. In the overall scheme of things, its crimes such as the shooting committed a few weeks ago that need to be more meticulously pursued. Chasing bong ripping Charlie, who can do no worse than make multiple bags of Doritos disappear, does not serve to protect Marquette.

I’m in anguish, not because law enforcement in the area is insufficient, but because it’s misguided. Students are being pimped while the real criminals are left to seed themselves in our community.

I don’t expect anything to change by writing this article. In fact, during the process of churning out this longwinded complaint, I’ve found a few affordable bulletproof vests I may just purchase on a website most likely run by a right wing nut who has watched too many Clint Eastwood movies. Clearly, I can’t be too careful in a Marquette where the students are public enemy number one.

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