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Rardy

Crime

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Okay. There's been a TON of discussion about crime in the Memphis forum in the past 2 days, a lot of it related to building a new stadium, so I figured we could use a thread specifically devoted to this topic.

I personally am not convinced that throwing money at the problem of crime will resolve the problem. We've also been compared to New Orleans, which saw 161 murders in 2006 with a population of around 200,000. We had 160 murders in 2006 with a population of around 675,000. Again, I don't see the connection.

What do you guys think about Memphis crime? How do we tackle the problem? What about the role Herenton and the media play?

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South and North Memphis need to be bulldozed and start over. The education system needs to be corrected immediately. Parents need to take responsibility for their children. The media should stop focusing on crime all of the time and instead focus on neighborhood/community issues and absentee parenting problems.

Herenton, being that he used to work in the Memphis City Schools SHOULD KNOW that the main contributor to crime is a bad and decaying educational system which we have, and no matter how many cops are added the issue will not be resolved until this is addressed.

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South and North Memphis need to be bulldozed and start over. The education system needs to be corrected immediately. Parents need to take responsibility for their children. The media should stop focusing on crime all of the time and instead focus on neighborhood/community issues and absentee parenting problems.

Herenton, being that he used to work in the Memphis City Schools SHOULD KNOW that the main contributor to crime is a bad and decaying educational system which we have, and no matter how many cops are added the issue will not be resolved until this is addressed.

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Crime is an issue in Memphis, but I do feel the media does take it a little over board. The crime that takes place in Memphis is generally restricted to certain areas of the city, but it does spill in to the other part too. One thing I have to come to notice in Memphis and I think this has been mentioned before is that there is a lack of respect for police and the law in general.

Maybe we can figure out a way that can get people to respect the law again. I guess it all starts with family values. Parents need to teach their children to respect elders and learn what is right and what is wrong. I don

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Take a look at this:

City -- 2005 Murders -- 2006 Murders -- % change -- 1 murder per # of people in city:

Charlotte -- 118 -- 83 -- Down 29.66% -- 1 for every 7,361

Detroit -- 169 -- 186 -- Up 10.06% -- 1 for every 4,767

Memphis -- 153 -- 160 -- Up 4.58% -- 1 for every 4,202

Kansas City -- 127 -- 115 -- Down 9.45% -- 1 for every 3,869

Cincinnati -- 79 -- 85 -- Up 7.59% -- 1 for every 3,632

Philadelphia -- 389 -- 406 -- Up 4.37% -- 1 for every 3,604

Washington, D.C. -- 196 -- 167 -- Down 14.80% -- 1 for every 3,297

St. Louis -- 128 -- 132 -- Up 3.13% -- 1 for every 2,609

Miami -- 120 -- 165 -- Up 37.5% -- 1 for every 2,342

Baltimore -- 269 -- 275 -- Up 2.23% -- 1 for every 2,312

Birmingham -- 105 -- 109 -- Up 3.81% -- 1 for every 2,124

New Orleans -- 210 -- 161 -- Down 23.33% -- 1 for approximately every 1,366

Based on solely murder rates, Memphis is the 3rd safest city on that list. You have a greater chance of being murdered in notably Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc.

My point? Murder is a national epidemic and it's slightly arrogant for us to think the country is focused on Memphis's murder rate. WE make a big deal out of Memphis's rate. The rest of the country (like us) is consumed with the murder rates of their home cities.

We clearly have a problem, though. Just not a unique one.

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Rardy you are an expert at this! I think the way you have presented this puts it all in a different light completely. Thanks for holding your ground on this crime issue and changing my mind.

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I won't lie those numbers look great, but the fact that those numbers just take in to account only the city population and not the metro population, they don't seem quite as bright. Take for instance Miami or Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a city population of 331,310 and a metro population of 2,135,593 and Miami has a city population of 386,417 and a metro population of around 3.5 million. So the city population of Cincinnati and Miami only take up 15.5% and 11% of the total population, respectfully. In Memphis we have a population around 685,000 and a total metro population of 1,250,000, with Memphis taking up 54.8% of the total population. So considering the notion that suburbs are generally safe areas, I would say that the metro Miami and Cincinnati on paper look safer than Memphis even though your numbers would say otherwise.

Another problem that affects us that most other metro areas don't worry about is that our city has grown basically in one direction and that is west. We have not had the luxury other cities have to confine bad area to one side of the city and built nice areas on the other. The trend has caused all the areas to grow west together. That is why the hickory hill area used to be nice and it has steeply declined in the past couple 10 years, but on the other side of nonconnah it is upscale.

We don't have the same problems other cities have. Most cities can ignore their problems and act like they don

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I won't lie those numbers look great, but the fact that those numbers just take in to account only the city population and not the metro population, they don't seem quite as bright. Take for instance Miami or Cincinnati. Cincinnati has a city population of 331,310 and a metro population of 2,135,593 and Miami has a city population of 386,417 and a metro population of around 3.5 million. So the city population of Cincinnati and Miami only take up 15.5% and 11% of the total population, respectfully. In Memphis we have a population around 685,000 and a total metro population of 1,250,000, with Memphis taking up 54.8% of the total population. So considering the notion that suburbs are generally safe areas, I would say that the metro Miami and Cincinnati on paper look safer than Memphis even though your numbers would say otherwise.

Another problem that affects us that most other metro areas don't worry about is that our city has grown basically in one direction and that is west. We have not had the luxury other cities have to confine bad area to one side of the city and built nice areas on the other. The trend has caused all the areas to grow west together. That is why the hickory hill area used to be nice and it has steeply declined in the past couple 10 years, but on the other side of nonconnah it is upscale.

We don't have the same problems other cities have. Most cities can ignore their problems and act like they don

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Rardy, I whole-heartedly agree with you that we are not alone. Ever city has a crime issue; every city will be fighting it for a long time. People up here in middle TN will try to tell you that they have no crime and that my city is infested. I can tell you first hand that neither of their views is correct; they do have crime and we are not infested.

I think we are on the same page in our ideas and where we want this city to be in 10 years.

In my opinion, our crime can be reduced significantly. With just a little bit more effort by the city gov't, most of the petty and some major crimes can be reduced. I have never run a city before so I don't know what all goes into the decision making. I don't think that our gov't is being completely honest with us, which I think can be seen with all these scandals that are coming about. They could fix our image if they really wanted to, but it seems like there is a little bit of corruption mixed into it.

Like you said people read stats and believe them. That statistic for our city is not very good whether it is true or not. I am for changing that view of our city.

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I know I've beat a dead horse saying it, but I don't think that the homicide numbers are the best numbers to look at for a crime comparison. If your neighbor was convicted and sentenced for shooting his wife in anger, would you move or feel unsafe? No. Why? Because it was an isolated incident between two people. It doesn't involve you, so you have nothing to worry about. And thats how most of the murders in Memphis happen: Domestic arguments, arguments between acquaintances, and retaliations for being ripped off. It is easy to avoid being killed in Memphis: just don't associate with people with violent temperaments, especially those with tempers and guns.

The crime to fear is the stranger-on-stranger crimes: carjackings, robberies, rapes (not by acquaintances), burglaries, and stray bullets. These are the ones that make you worried for your own safety and the safety of your friends and family. These crimes influence where you live, and are the ones that generate the most media stories because, as they like to say on the news "it could happen to anybody."

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Murders are not a good way to look at crime because the victims usually put themselves in the situation and often even deserve it (drug dealers). I know a lot of people in New Orleans, and they are elated to hear about every murder because to them that means one less gangbanger on the streets. The New Orleans crime prevention plan is to hope that all the criminals kill each other. Too bad new criminals pop up faster than they can kill each other off. Another problem with that is innocent people are frequently caught in the crossfire. When you look at crimes besides murder, Memphis does very poorly. I'm more worried about being assaulted or getting my stuff stolen than being killed.

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Murders are not a good way to look at crime because the victims usually put themselves in the situation and often even deserve it (drug dealers). I know a lot of people in New Orleans, and they are elated to hear about every murder because to them that means one less gangbanger on the streets. The New Orleans crime prevention plan is to hope that all the criminals kill each other. Too bad new criminals pop up faster than they can kill each other off. Another problem with that is innocent people are frequently caught in the crossfire. When you look at crimes besides murder, Memphis does very poorly. I'm more worried about being assaulted or getting my stuff stolen than being killed.

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I would be happier with the criminals behind bars then for the innocent to get killed.

Would moving the "good" people from the suburbs into the inner city be a positive or negative effect on crime in a whole?

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We don't have gangs in New Orleans. First off, gangs would never work in New Orleans because too many people are out for self. People represent their ward, housing project, neighborhood and that's the extent of it.

In Memphis, crime is concentrated in North & South Memphis so that's where you gotta zero in on the most. East Memphis is the rich area and although it's getting rough there, it's nowhere NEAR the levels of criminality in N. & S. Memphis. Parents need to stop letting their children run amok and stay on them, that's how you prevent crime from happening. I think ever since white flight happened, it's done damage to the inner city. Memphis just needs to get tough on crime, this is done by parents, community leaders, police, businessmen/women, everyone. Send a strong message that criminality won't be tolerated.

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If there is a way for the government to force parents to teach their children right and wrong, I think that would be the best way. But obviously, thats not possible. Here's how I would propose lowering crime...

1. It starts with better education by hiring qualified teachers. I've heard stories from my younger cousins in SCS and MCS who joke about how dumb some of the teachers are. Even I had a teacher years back who thought World War 2 was fought against Vietnam and World War 1 was the one against Hitler! :rofl: Memphis is blessed with FedEx. I've heard that their always looking for employees to work at the hub, loading planes and what not. $8/hour isn't great but its better than nothing so I don't see unemployment as a major reason for crime in Memphis.

2. Zero-Tolerance policy for petty crimes like shoplifting and vandalism. Obviously, the police shouldn't arrest a 5 year olds for stealing candy from Kroger but a 15 year old knows better!

3. Requiring steering wheel locks be included in the sale of every new car.

4. Drug free zones with a 1/2 mile radius from every school, park, and university. Anyone caught with an illegal substance in this zone is subject to harsher penalties.

5. Dummy police cars. Park empty police cars in some areas to fool criminals that the police are watching. Sometimes the car will occupy real officers, no one, or solar/battery powered mannequins equipped with cameras connected to CCTV.

6. More police biking around neighborhoods. Use the same officers so the neighborhood could build a relationship with him and every precient builds a community oriented website where you can talk about recent crimes in the area, read the officers biography, and discuss neighborhood clean ups, block parties, and Neighborhood watches.

7. A youth program which could be funded by corportations. Depending on age, they learn how to resist joining gangs, and how to avoid crime. They also go on tours of 201 Poplar, and different police facilities.

8. A charity event "Memphis Policemen vs. Memphis Firemen" basketball game just to put a human face behind the officers and build community relations.

9. Wanted flyers and billboards posted around town.

10. Police checkpoints at night and in the day time.

11. Continuing Blue Crush

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There is one way to get rid of crime: lock the beotchs up. Build a tent city at shelby farms to put the tens of thousands of criminals in jail. Make it miserable, and don't put in airconditioning. It seems that every major criminal in this town has a rap sheet longer than the Mississippi. If we just kept them when we caught them, then we wouldn't have a crime problem. Third time offenders should always get the max penalty, and second timers should get very severe sentences. Third time felons should be locked away for good. A less effective but also necessary measure is the extend the school year to a full year and require that students participate in an after school activity for at least three hours after school is over every day. If they work, they can be excused. Require everyone under age 18 to attend school full time.

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If there is a way for the government to force parents to teach their children right and wrong, I think that would be the best way. But obviously, thats not possible. Here's how I would propose lowering crime...

1. It starts with better education by hiring qualified teachers. I've heard stories from my younger cousins in SCS and MCS who joke about how dumb some of the teachers are. Even I had a teacher years back who thought World War 2 was fought against Vietnam and World War 1 was the one against Hitler! :rofl: Memphis is blessed with FedEx. I've heard that their always looking for employees to work at the hub, loading planes and what not. $8/hour isn't great but its better than nothing so I don't see unemployment as a major reason for crime in Memphis.

2. Zero-Tolerance policy for petty crimes like shoplifting and vandalism. Obviously, the police shouldn't arrest a 5 year olds for stealing candy from Kroger but a 15 year old knows better!

3. Requiring steering wheel locks be included in the sale of every new car.

4. Drug free zones with a 1/2 mile radius from every school, park, and university. Anyone caught with an illegal substance in this zone is subject to harsher penalties.

5. Dummy police cars. Park empty police cars in some areas to fool criminals that the police are watching. Sometimes the car will occupy real officers, no one, or solar/battery powered mannequins equipped with cameras connected to CCTV.

6. More police biking around neighborhoods. Use the same officers so the neighborhood could build a relationship with him and every precient builds a community oriented website where you can talk about recent crimes in the area, read the officers biography, and discuss neighborhood clean ups, block parties, and Neighborhood watches.

7. A youth program which could be funded by corportations. Depending on age, they learn how to resist joining gangs, and how to avoid crime. They also go on tours of 201 Poplar, and different police facilities.

8. A charity event "Memphis Policemen vs. Memphis Firemen" basketball game just to put a human face behind the officers and build community relations.

9. Wanted flyers and billboards posted around town.

10. Police checkpoints at night and in the day time.

11. Continuing Blue Crush

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The best opportunity to combat crime and a host of other problems is to concentrate on the kids who still haven't been consumed by this self-destructive culture. If you can get a kid to make it to a certan age without committing a crime, the chances are very low that he'll ever commit one. Let's face it...we can't rely on all the parents in this city to do a good job of raising their kids. Some are too young themselves to know how to be a good parent, some didn't have good parents themselves to model after, some don't care, and others are too busy working multiple jobs or too high on dope.

Some ideas I've thought about that could be employed in high-risk areas:

*Community attention. Like someone said earlier, we've got kids wandering around out there with little supervision. People either don't care what the kids are doing in their neighborhood, or are too afraid to do anything about it. This must stop. Parents must be held accountable for where their kids are and what they are doing. Parents who refuse to control their children should be subject to fines and arrest, and kids at least temporarily placed in foster or institutional care. To help the police handle the load, deputize teams of citizens, armed if necessary, to round up wandering kids and put them where they're supposed to be.

*Keep kids busy. No kid should be permitted to just dart out of the school building with no individual plan for what that child will be doing and where he/she is going. Account for the after-school time, weekend and summertime activities of every school-age child. Participation in extra-curricular programs, jobs, internships, and community service programs should be made compulsory. Attendance is mandatory and would be enforced by schools, social services and, if necessary, the police.

*Protect the good kids from the bad. In our schools, we have good kids who can't resist the peer pressure to do drugs, commit crime, act up in class, and have sex. Those few who do resist are taunted relentlessly. The barrier between faculty and students must come down, and the adults have to determine what's going on in the kids' lives. Children who are going bad must have individual attention, and if initial attempts to correct behavior are not successful then they must be placed in classroom settings with more intensive supervision and less freedom.

*Financial incentives. Offer substantial monetary awards upon high school graduation to any child who has "kept clean" - i.e. not been convicted of a crime, no history of disciplinary problems at school, not failed a drug test, and not parented a child. I'm talking about hefty awards too - $10,000 or more. These awards could be distributed a number of ways to prevent misuse...scholarships, vouchers for a car or down-payment on first home, monthly payments over a period of years. If it reduces the amount of money the govermnment will one day have to spend on entitlements or prisons, it will be an investment that ultimately pays for itself.

We're probably just 8-10 years away from massive reductions in crime if we get serious about taking control of our youth. Today's bored, apathetic 10-year old is tomorrow's gun-toting, drug-dealing 18-year old.

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