Today's Story Line

Good ideas travel.

A Boston community policing program that drew kudos from President Clinton four years ago is now debuting in one of Brazil's most violent slums. The concept is to build links - and trust - between the police and all levels of the community. The program brought dramatic and enduring reductions in juvenile crime in Boston. The initial efforts are working in Rio de Janeiro, too (page 1).

Rabbi Menachem Frohman is also trying to spread an idea with the goal of rebuilding trust. He says that diplomats and politicians must recognize that Jewish and Muslim religious leaders have a key role to play in solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He's starting to be heard (page 1).

Quote of note:

"President [Clinton] is interested [in fostering religious dialogue] and the apparatus of diplomacy won't allow it to be raised." - Rabbi Marc Gopin.

David Clark Scott World editor


CHECKS AND BALANCE: Reporter Andrew Downie was told by police that this new program to curb violent crime was working. But he approached the story with a healthy dose of skepticism. He went back to the slums near the famous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro four times to confirm the information he was getting.

Twice he went out on patrol with the police to see what they were doing. "That was physically difficult. The smell of rubbish and sewage in the streets was overwhelming," he notes. Once he went by himself to talk to residents when the police weren't around. Another time he went to a community meeting of police, legal and human rights activists, and residents.

"All agree that the situation has improved. Officer Carballo, the policeman leading this, really impressed me," says Andrew. "But there's suspicion among residents whether there are enough people like him inside the government and the police," he says.

Let us hear from you.

Mail to: One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 via e-mail:

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.