KANSAS CITY – It's not a new concept. Totalitarian governments both on the left and on the right have utilized it to great effect in the past: rat out your fellow citizens and create a utopian society. Heck. it's even been tried here in the good, old U.S. of A. in the past as anyone who remembers the '70s and the We T.I.P. (turn in pushers) hotlines can attest.
Now the Wyandotte County district attorney is asking neighborhood "leaders" to act as the eyes and ears of the police to help identify businesses that might be violating laws on obscenity and the sale of drug paraphernalia.
According to an article in the Kansas City Star, District Attorney Jerome A. Gorman met with the heads of several neighborhood organizations Monday night at Kansas City Kansas Community College to see if they would "act as an extra set of eyes and ears" for law enforcement.
The plea is a result of a grand jury request last year that the district attorney's office actively prosecute violations of the county's drug paraphernalia and obscenity laws. Convened as a result of petitions spearheaded by religious anti-porn zealot Philip Cosby, the grand jury also noted that the public is responsible for telling law enforcement when potential violations are spotted.
The Star also reports that Gorman now has the task of educating county residents what constitutes a violation, and informing citizens to be on the lookout for prohibited items like glass pipes that can be used to smoke crack cocaine, or "crack rocks" as the urban patois describes it.
"We’re not looking at removing Playboy and Penthouse or to get every movie out of there," Gorman told the Star. "There are those [materials] that go beyond what is shocking to the conscience. Films depicting violence or torture, bestiality, incest."
To this end, the Star indicated that Gorman has requested those suspecting violations to e-mail his office. Following that, members of law enforcement would pay a visit to those businesses identified in the e-mails to see if violations were actually occurring.
Gorman stressed to the Star that he was not requesting neighborhood organizations to conduct "fishing expeditions" and that he believed "99%" of local businesses operated within the laws. “I’m just going to ask them [the neighborhood organizations] if, in the normal course of their observations, is there anything that goes outside what the law allows?” Gorman told the Kansas City Star.
According to one observer, more than 100 people turned up for Monday's meeting. Seems a lot of people are eager to become snitches.