Friday, November 12, 2010

Homicide Rate Soars in Boston

Just this week I wrote about the rising homicide rate in Orlando, Florida, The Boston Globe is reporting a similar dramatic increase in homicides in Boston. The number of people murdered in Boston has risen 46.5 percent since this time last year.

The Boston police commissioner suggested that the increase can be attributed to a combination of more people turning to the drug trade to make money and the release of drug dealers from prison. That combination has led to 63 homicides through November 8th of this year. At the same point last year, there were 43 killings. According to the Globe, there have been 21 homicides in Boston since September.

Are the soaring homicides rates in Orlando and Boston the result of a shift in crime fighting priorities? Nearly all of America has enjoyed unprecedented crime reductions. Unfortunately, when crime trends shift downward policymakers direct less attention, and less resources, toward crime fighting.

That shift in priorities does not come without consequences. Couple the misguided notion that crime is under control, and will continue to remain under control, with a struggling economy, state and local government budget woes, police officer layoffs, the early release of prisoners to save money and it is easy to understand the potential for a spike in violent crime.

Most states are at a crucial juncture, cut costs or provide for public safety. What is safety and security worth to the average citizen?

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