Mayors and top police officials from around the nation urged the federal government on Wednesday to engage in a more coordinated effort to combat a recent increase in violent crime, reports the New York Times. At a Washington meeting organized by the Police Executive Research Forum, a research and public policy group, the officials said a spike in the rate of violent crime reflected a growing crisis. “Crime is coming back,” said Chief William Bratton of Los Angeles.
Violent crime increased last year for the first time in four years, up 2.5 percent from 2004. The biggest increases in murder were reported in medium-size cities and the Midwest. Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske of Seattle said part of the problem was that Washington had primarily focused on terrorism and domestic security since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “This administration is tone deaf to what is going on,” he said. “Rightly so, they've been focused on terrorism. But this is a wake-up call to begin rebuilding partnerships.” Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty acknowledged the government had struggled to balance its needs at home and abroad.