Opa-locka, Fl., had the highest violent crime rate of any U.S. city with more than 10,000 residents last year as measured by the new Federal Bureau of Investigation uniform crime report, the Miami Herald reprots. The Miami-Dade city of 15,238 residents had 633 violent crimes in 2003, including six homicides and 19 rapes. This is the first year the FBI has released national figures for ranking cities.
Many cite the city’s monetary problems, which resulted in stretching the police force too thin, as a reason for the high crime. Crime has long been a perennial concern in the impoverished city of 4.2 square miles where armed robberies are almost a daily occurance, carjackings are not uncommon, and drug holes abound. Commissioner Timothy Holmes disputed the crime data’s implication. “We don’t have murders and shootings every day in this city,” Holmes said. “We can get out and walk on our streets, and we’re going to continue to get out and walk on our streets.”