Monday, October 13, 2008

Let's talk about crime

Crime is a frequent topic on Flint Expatriates, but it is hardly mentioned by the national media these days. Part of the reason is that the rate of violent crime declined every year from 1992 through 2004. But since then, the per-capita violent crime rate has started climbing again. And in some areas, like Flint and Detroit, the rate has spiked.

"You can talk all you want about [falling] crime rates, but the fact is that 99,000 people have been murdered in this country since September 11, [2001]" says Gene Voegtlin, the legislative counsel for the International Organization of Chiefs of Police.

So why isn't crime a bigger national issue?

Ashby Jones of The Wall Street Journal explains why:

Dismayed local politicians, frustrated police chiefs and bewildered academics trot out a host of reasons, from media myopia to the fallout from 9/11 to a narrowing in differences between Democrats and Republicans. Some think the problem owes, at least in part, to the fact that crime has fallen so precipitously in the nation's media centers, namely Los Angeles and New York. "It's true," says George Tita, a professor of criminology at the University of California, Irvine. "If what's happening in Philadelphia were happening in L.A. and New York, we'd be hearing a lot more about it."

Others say crime has simply been overshadowed by other issues, including national security. "All eyes, all attention at the federal level, are on Al Qaeda and the war on terror," says Michael Nutter, Philadelphia's mayor. "Fact is, al Qaeda wouldn't last a day in parts of Philadelphia. I've got gangsters with .45s that would run them outta town."

On the political front, crime has fallen way behind issues such as Iraq, health care and gas prices, not to mention the meltdown of our financial system.


  1. "Others say crime has simply been overshadowed by other issues..."

    In large part, I think this might be the reason crime is not on the front page.

    "The Future Lives in Flint!"

  2. I guess crime has dropped in some places, but in many corners of the country its been at unaccceptable levels for 40 years. A 25% drop in murders sounds good, but when you realize Flint has had years where 60+ have been killed it ain't too impressive.

    The media is so skewed towards the coasts that many don't realize some of the largest states in the U.S. are Great Lakes states. Nearly 45 million souls in Wisco, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Heck, even cities in "east coast" states like Buffalo and Pittsburgh are ignored.

    I can't relate to NY or LA, but keep watchin' nevertheless...


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