If crime rates continue to fall, the U.S. will experience a degree of public safety not known since the 1950s, says the Washington Post in an editorial, while conceding that the nation’s violent crime rate remains above those of other industrial democracies. Places like Baltimore, where murder rose 9.5 percent in the first half of 2009, have progressed less dramatically.
The Post is inclined to credit policies that put more cops on the street, with better technology and smarter tactics. Still. New York City continued to rack up lower homicide rates in the past decade even as its police force shrank by 6,000. Government spends much time and money figuring out what’s going wrong in our society and how to fix it. Perhaps we need a bigger effort to determine what’s been going right in the fight against violent crime — and to spread that knowledge to every jurisdiction in the country, says the Post.