Monday, June 12, 2006

Rise in Violent Crimes. Who is Actually Surprised?

The FBI just released statistics on violent crime for last year. The report shows a violent crimes increased by 2.5% nationally. This represents the first overall increase in violent crime since 2001 and the biggest increase since 1993. Last year we also saw a 15 year high in the number of murder victims.

I find the timing of these terrible statistics to be quite interesting. Both the White House and Republicans in Congress have been successful in cutting and completely terminating a variety of programs intended to help fight crime locally.

From George W. Bush’s 2007 budget, he calls for the total elimination of a variety of law enforcement programs. The COPS Law Enforcement Technology Grant is just one of those. Under Republican rule, it is not the first and will certainly not be the last to face the chopping block.

Often we find that violent crime is drug related. So what does the Bush Administration propose to do? Cut the Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant. What is the focus of this grant? Assisting drug courts, drug taskforces, and helping in drug education.

I would enjoy hearing Republicans explain how this record rise in violent crime has nothing to do with several years of constant cuts to local law enforcement assistance.

I can agree with the idea that cutting these programs alone did not likely cause this spike. I’d guess that another possible contributing factor could be increasing poverty. Another hallmark of the Bush Administration.

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