Monday, November 26, 2012

Homicide on the rise in cities across the country

Homicide is on the rise. Oklahoma City police have reported 85 homicides so far in 2012, according to the Daily Oklahoman. Excluding 1995, the year of the Oklahoma City bombing, that number is the highest since 1993, when 92 homicides were reported.

Oklahoma City is not alone.  The homicide rate is rising in cities large and small from coast to coast. The homicide rate is up in San Diego and Atlantic City.  In Portland, OR and Detroit, MI.  In fact, homicides are up 38 percent in Chicago and 24 percent in Philadelphia.

"This is not just a law enforcement issue," Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said in a statement. "The increased prevalence of individuals choosing to use acts of violence to settle disputes between friends, acquaintances and more disturbingly family members must be addressed, if we are to stop the violence in our communities."

The Oklahoma City police force is fighting crime with about 1,000 sworn officers, including new police recruits still attending the police academy. That's about 10 fewer officers than in 1989, although the city's population has grown by almost one-third since then, from 444,719 to 579,999.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says the department just doesn't know why homicides have spiked in 2012.

"This isn't, ‘What's the new strategy that's going to somehow turn it around?' " Ramsey said. "Hell, if we knew that, we'd have done it already. We have no interest in allowing a body count to grow."

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