Thursday, June 12, 2008
After the Hype: Oakland Homicides Drop
Despite a year of increasingly alarmist talk about violent crime in the Bay Area, and in Oakland in particular, the FBI's latest homicide report shows Bay Area homicides down, led by Oakland which experienced a 19 percent drop from 145 homicides in 2006, to 118 homicides this year (read the AP Story). A series of high profile armed robberies has placed Bay Area politicians under pressure to engage in expensive and dramatic gestures against crime. Fortunately the major cities in the area are led by mayors and police chiefs who seemed ready to move beyond the failed tactics of the war on crime, but they have been under extraordinary pressure from an increasingly vigilante oriented media. May be the new numbers will give them the breathing room they need to introduce innovative alternatives.