I have no intention of downplaying the importance of law enforcement in the community, especially when it comes to programs that are more rehabilitative than they are combative, but I feel that articles such as your recent report on the Cherry Hill neighborhood cast a more negative light on certain communities than necessary and that they are quite frankly counter-intuitive to the notion of social justice ("On the beat in Cherry Hill," July 15).
I really don't see any reason to describe Cherry Hill as "traditionally" violent, when in fact it is a community with a unique history that is a continual testament to the resilience and spirit of community in spite of many challenges. There may be more violent incidents there than in other parts of Baltimore, but in no way should the community be labeled in a way that further perpetuates that idea.
I was disheartened to read that taking three young men off the street — and out of the community — was described as an accomplishment. It seems more like a failure. There are a number of social-political-economic factors involved, but they cannot be addressed simply through tenacious law enforcement.
For every article like this there should be at least two others that reflect the positive, grass-roots efforts that are taking place in communities like Cherry Hill, such as the creation of community gardens in a food desert and efforts to establish more mixed-income housing.
Tim SheltonCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times