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Crime rate drops in first half of year

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Officials: Community ties help drive down Providence crime rate


projo.com staff | Monday, July 12, 2004


PROVIDENCE -- Major crime has dropped 11 percent in Providence over the first six months of this year, Mayor David N. Cicilline and Police Chief Dean Esserman announced this morning.

The homicide rate showed the most significant drop, down 78 percent when compared to the first six months of 2003, according to Cicilline and Esserman.

Other major crimes also fell, including rape by force, down 11 percent; robbery, down 29 percent; aggravated assault, down 15 percent, motor vehicle theft, down 20 percent; burglary, down 10 percent and larceny, down five percent.

Esserman and Cicilline credited the drop in crime to community policing, partnerships with community groups and other governmental agencies and the "re-engineering" of the Providence Police Department.

They also cited the work of a Police Department gun task force and federal prosecution of gun violators.

Cicilline said residents of Providence have "played a critical role" by "forging historic partnerships with police officers."

As part of its community policing effort, the Police Department has established nine district police stations in city neighborhoods.

A Police Department press release noted that Providence has seen decreases in crime for the past 18 months, while crime is increasing in many cities.

Esserman expressed pleasure with "the initial results" but added that work continues.

"We are never satisfied, only because we know we can constantly improve on policing in our city, and will consistently strive to make Providence as safe as possible for all," said Esserman, who was hired by Cicilline in January 2003.

The department statistics show two homicides for the first six months of this year, down from nine for the first six months of 2003.

But in the second half of the year, which started July 1, there have already been two homicides. A 20-year-old Cranston man was found shot to death in Roger Willams Park early July 1m and a 39-year-old Providence man man was stabbed July 8 in Olneyville.

From The Providence Journal

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