This is in response to Greg Dahlen’s letter of Nov.13 (“Police have more than one focus,” Mailbag), where he mentions the need for empathy — a word that means understanding for, responsiveness to and identification with a fellow being.
I support Mr. Dahlen’s observation that what is lacking in drivers and pedestrians in Glendale is identification with those around them. In addition, neither the police nor City Council can do anything about this lack of identification with others as long as we think rules and laws will make people change their behavior.
People who live in or visit our city do not demonstrate a sense of community where all members have a responsibility for the other members. Their actions are the manifestation of “it’s all about me.”
This sad situation is the result of many components. We have experienced dramatic growth in our population numbers and expanded shopping and entertainment zones, two of the factors that bring about this lack of community. In Glendale, there are now too many people who do not know anyone outside of their small group of friends, family or co-workers.
To help bring about change, the city needs to engage in one of the basic principles of marketing — find the opinion leaders of these groups and involve them in the change process. These individuals could be religious leaders, business people, teachers, or others who people listen to because they admire them. Without taking this step, we will continue to see Glendale at the top of the pedestrian fatality and automobile accident lists.