Monday, June 1, 2009

A Formula for Falling Homicides

The Chron ran an article over the weekend highlighting the 58% fall in the homicide rate.
"Five months into 2009, the city has recorded 17 homicides compared to 45 at this time last year and 40 at this time in 2007.

There have been nine black male murder victims this year, compared to 23 at this time in 2008 and 16 in 2007. And there have been no murders attributable to black-on-black gang violence this year, which was long pegged as one of the prime drivers in the city's spiking murder rate.

Crime analysts say crime rates usually climb during economic recessions, making this year's homicide drop even more unlikely. Kevin Ryan, the director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, credited the new "zone strategy," in which police officers flood the most crime-ridden neighborhoods.

He said a renewed focus on high-risk people on probation and violent gangs is also working. He also praised the District Attorney's office for tougher charging on gang and gun crimes and the Department of Justice for getting involved in the gang cases.

"We have come up with a formula that has stemmed the tide for now, but we must watch the trends and be prepared for new strategies as the situation requires," he said."