Camden, N.J., dubbed the nation’s most dangerous city last year by a research firm, has cut its homcide number in half in the first seven months of 2005, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Overall, major crime dropped 23 percent from a year earlier, a decrease partly credited to crime mapping, statistical analysis, and new crime-fighting techniques based on the data.
The new data came two days after a report detailed many missteps in the search for three boys who disappeared in June in a Camden neighborhood. After a massive, two-day police search, a relative found the boys dead in the trunk of a car parked in the yard where they had last been seen playing. Federal marshals have been brought in to track the city’s “most wanted,” and state police continue to operate there. This week, state police arrested nearly 100 people in drug and prostitution stings. “I felt that as we moved into the warmer months, the summer months, crime and reducing crime would be a great challenge,” said Police Chief Edwin Figueroa. “Fortunately, I’ve been proven wrong.”