Despite National Crime Decline, Medium-Size Cities Show Rise


The decline in violent crime reports last year cited by the FBI came after violent crime rose in 2005 and 2006 after years of decline, sparking concerns that a focus on homeland security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks was drawing resources away from traditional crime fighting, says the Washington Post. The Justice Department credited “our state and local law enforcement partners, who are working in coordination with federal law enforcement to break up violent gangs and to take drug dealers and gun criminals off the streets.”

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, president of the United States Conference of Mayors, called the numbers still too high. “The fact that there is a murder committed every 31 minutes somewhere in the U.S. is not something I feel good about. These are national averages, but we are seeing increases in crime for small and middle-sized cities.” In cities with populations of 10,000 to 24,999, violent crime rose 2.4 percent. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, said the nationwide fall masked problems in some cities that are now growing worse as the economy slows. “The good news is that we are starting to see a decrease from the spike in 2006. The bad news is that we are still significantly higher than we were in 2003 and 2004,” Wexler said. “Some cities saw the rise over two years as a serious wake-up call and have got strategies in place to deal with the issues. A lot of hard work was done in the ’90s, and there have been a few steps back.”


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