ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, October 30, 2006

St Louis Is Number One!!!

Yes, in baseball... but this post is about our crime rate...

St. Louis Ranked Most Dangerous City
Oct 30 12:08 AM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


Just days after the St. Louis Cardinals won the top honor in Major League Baseball, their hometown jumped to first place on a list no one wants to lead: the most dangerous cities in the United States.

This Midwestern city has long been in the upper tiers of the annual ranking of the nation's safest and most dangerous cities, compiled by Morgan Quitno Press. Violent crime surged nearly 20 percent there from 2004 to last year, when the rate of such crimes rose much faster in the Midwest than in the rest of nation, according to FBI figures released in June.

"It's just sad the way this city is," resident Sam Dawson said. "On the news you hear killings, someone's been shot."

The ranking, being released Monday, came as the city was still celebrating Friday's World Series victory at the new Busch Stadium. St. Louis has been spending millions of dollars on urban renewal even as the crime rate climbs.

Mayor Francis Slay did not return calls to his office seeking comment Sunday.

Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno Press, a private research and publishing company specializing in state and city reference books, said he was not surprised to see St. Louis top the list, since it has been among the 10 most dangerous cities for years.

Morgan said the study looks at crime only within St. Louis city limits, with a population of about 330,000. It doesn't take into account the suburbs in St. Louis County, which has roughly 980,000 residents.

The safest city in 2005 was Brick, N.J., population about 78,000, followed by Amherst, N.Y., and Mission Viejo, Calif. The second most dangerous city was Detroit, followed by Flint, Mich., and Compton, Calif.

Cities are ranked based on more than just their crime rate, Morgan said. Individual crimes such as rape or burglary are measured separately, compared to national averages and then compiled to give a city its ranking. Crimes are weighted based on their danger to people.

The national FBI figures released in June showed the murder rate in St. Louis jumped 16 percent from 2004 to 2005, compared with 4.8 percent nationally. The overall violent crime rate increased nearly 20 percent, compared with 2.5 percent nationally.

While crime increased in all regions last year, the 5.7 percent rise in the 12 Midwestern states was at least three times higher than any other region, according to the FBI.

Visiting St. Louis on Thursday, FBI director Robert Mueller said it was too early to tell why some types of crime were rising faster in the Midwest.

Good to see that we're better than Detroit in more than just baseball.... we've also got more violent crime! Yeah!!!

Now, the scary thing is that this study didn't take into account the crime rate in East St. Louis, which is probably a more dangerous place than Fallujah, Iraq. Claims to fame for East St. Louis are drugs, prostitution, strip clubs, and voter fraud.

All I have to say is that while St Louis' downtown renovation is a good thing, without handling the rise in violent crime, it'll all be for naught. Fighting crime isn't rocket science. The Broken Window theory has been proven true time and time again. And St Louis' problem with violent gangs battling over a square block of abandoned and burned out buildings can be resolved quickly. This article in the Riverfront Times from August is very instructive into the problems that St Louis is facing regarding gangs, especially as you read the excuses about the people involved in violent crime.

It'll take the courage of our convinctions to admit that violent criminals who are in prison rarely have a repeat offense.

Oh, and that World Series thing? Turns out that the ratings weren't that great, despite the fact that the games this year were always pretty competitive. However, the reason for this is that fewer and fewer people are watching network television - which, in the final analysis, is a good thing.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler