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Variations in Violence

Bud Levin

Consider http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/1123/New-Orleans-park-shooting-rattles-city-enjoying-record-low-homicides-video   among many others.  Some cities, e.g., New Orleans, while not as peaceful as one might wish, seem to be stabilizing in terms of homicide while others, e.g., Baltimore and Chicago and Milwaukee, seem to be experiencing increased violence.

Be the details as they may, and conclusions depending upon which measures one chooses, it’s clear that violence is up in some places and down in others.  The core question remains, “Why?”

Criminologists and others have been debating the uneven distribution of crime for a very long time.  Police futurists, wonder, naturally enough, what role police might have if we were more effectively to “protect and serve.”  At present, police are often recognized as part of the problem.  Looking ahead,

  1. can police become a more effective part of the solution?  if so, how?
  2. what parts of the solution are best addressed by other components of the community instead?

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