Monday, January 17, 2005

More crime, but less crime-fighting

Mickey Kaus links to this disturbing St. Louis law enforcement story. Police there are using clever paperwork tricks to underreport crimes, thereby making the city look safer.

Only two days ago, a friend told me that one of his clients was attacked in a Dallas park. The man was beaten and his car was stolen by a group of teenagers. The police caught the group as they tried to drive off in his car. Later a detective visited the man in the hospital and told him that they wouldn't be charging the teenagers or pursuing the investigation further.

I wonder if this is part of the same practice. After all, just the other day our mayor and police chief announced a new get-tough approach to crime. But many are not impressed. On the day of their announcement, four people were gunned down south of town. Crime is a huge problem in Dallas, one that the mayor and at least past police chiefs have failed to address seriously. I would not be surprised if part of "getting tough" means simply picking and choosing which crimes to report.

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