Friday, December 01, 2006

Rochester Law Enforcement Hits the Big Time

Having grown up a huge rap fan, even going so far as to have my own posse known as Six Feet Deep (sorry folks, there are no recordings in existence), I was constantly reminded of the struggles of life in the inner city. More often than not however, those struggles were limited to the big cities where the majority of old school hip-hoppers hailed from; mainly NYC, LA/Compton, Oakland, Philly, Chicago, Miami, and Houston. Despite the undeniable allure of Tre-Z's "A Chip Off the ROC", Rochester never did make it to the big time of the rap game. Sadly, rap is all but dead today, dominated by untalented buffoons babbling on about money, drugs, and booty, instead of politics, crime, and the lost art of storytelling. But as usual, I digress...

Back in the day, a common phrase from the West Coast referred to the "Ghetto Bird". Ice Cube even had a popular hit by that same name. Being an ignorant white suburbanite at the time, I wasn't sure exactly what Cube, Dre, Ice-T, and others were talking about. The video for "It Was a Good Day" made it pretty clear, the Ghetto Bird is the police helicopter commonly employed in LA and other large West Coast locales, but rarely used in East Coast cities and certainly not in Rochester. That is, until this week. As Channel 13 reports, Chief Moore has partnered with the NYS Police to begin using their helicopters to patrol our city from above. This explains the helicopter-like noise I heard over my neighborhood earlier this week. I'm not sure how I feel about the institution of this intrusive form of policing. Sure, I want criminals on the loose to be caught, but what about my right to privacy on my own property? Hopefully this technique will have a positive effect on our city's crime rate, because it certainly will have a negative impact on the quality of life. Regardless, while Rochester may never have hit the big time in rap, we have finally arrived in the era of big city law enforcement.