Violent crime nationwide, which fell throughout the mid-to-late 1990’s and then held steady, has started to move back up: murders and armed robberies were up 4-5% in 2005 compared to 2004. That’s not a big move, but it’s not good news. For reasons unknown, the big increases were in cities of between 500,000 and 1,000,000; the big cities, including New York and Los Angeles, are still making progress. Property crime is still in a holding pattern. (Summary table here.)
We’ve already got 2.2 million people behind bars, which is several times the historical norm for incarceration per capita. Those who want to keep building prisons must subscribe to the maxim, “When brute force fails, you’re not using enough.” Fortunately, we’re starting to get smarter about how to get tougher. But that doesn’t mean we can do the job without adequate numbers of bodies in uniform.
This seems like a lousy time to be reducing Federal aid to local law enforcement and diverting police into fighting terrorism.
Footnote New York is now the lowest-crime big city in the country, and Dallas the highest-crime. Must be all those criminal-coddling liberal Democratic judges in Dallas.