Monday, August 3, 2009

Violent Crimes Down, Pristoop Deserves Credit

The Capital reports that violent (type 1) crimes are down by 44% when comparing the first 6 months of 2009 with the same months of 2008. Type 1 crimes include murder, rape, assault, robbery, and reading blogs with advertisements on them. Just kidding.

So, why has this happened? Admittedly I'm not a keen enough observer to offer a detailed explanation, but I've got to believe it's because of Chief Pristoop. The Mayor offers little guidance:
It doesn't happen overnight. We've been trying to develop a willingness to
partner with police, especially where the inclination is not to partner with
The results might not happen overnight, but it seems the trend did. At the end of Chief Johnson's tenure, crime went nowhere but up. A search of "crime" or "police chief" on this blog would give you more of a picture, but it goes something as follows. Crime was steadily increasing, but when a series of particularly disturbing crimes happened (in tourist areas), stuff started hitting the fan. The police department was famously understaffed, and while there was criticism for Chief Johnson, many attributed the problem to a lack of leadership by the Mayor. Rather than address problems brought up by HACA President Brown, Mayor Moyer identified what she thought was the problem: "I guess he doesn't know how to read".


Moyer is still the Mayor...and crime is going down. And it started going down pretty much as soon as Pristoop took over. In economics, changes are often analyzed ceteris paribus, which means that every other variable stays the same except the one at which you are looking. It's one of the most improbably scenarios ever, but I'll tell you how it applies here. The assumption is that the 2 people most capable of reducing crime are the Mayor and the Chief. The Mayor stayed the same, the chief changed, and the level of crime changed. Conclusion: the chief is doing a good job. Chief Pristoop would agree:
This crime reduction is not an anomaly. We work very hard every day
... and we are going to continue to work very hard at reducing the exposure of
the community to violent and property crimes.

People are hearing less gunfire and seeing fewer people out there doing
street-level nuisance crimes. That is a true measure of a safer city. People
honestly believe and see improvement. I am hearing that every day.
I hope he keeps it up.

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