Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Meeting Notes: District Attorney Phil Cline

Tulare County's top prosecutor, District Attorney Phil Cline, briefed the REPUBLICAN Central Committee tonight on the escalating gang problem in our communities.

Fear, he said, is an ongoing challenge county prosecutors face in making their cases against the accused. Witnesses and victims, their families and neighbors are simply afraid of reprisals from gang members and are reluctant to testify. He said the most important person in the courtroom is a witness, and without them putting the perpetrators away is made more difficult.

In addition, police and prosecutors are not getting enough help from youth who could provide valuable information because pop culture (including rap songs) deride people who would cooperate with law enforcement.

There's no simple solution, Cline said, but one thing is clear: communities, neighborhoods and families need to rally around those people brave enough to step forward with information that puts the bad guys away.

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