Oklahoma City recorded its
66th, 67th, 68th 69th homicide of the year has been recorded.
On March 21, I tweeted about a homicide and noted that we were on pace for 104 homicides in 2012. Sadly, my calculation has been pretty close; we’ve slowed slightly, but at this pace we’ll still be at 93 homicides this year.
On July 16, I noted that the 2012 homicide count was double the 2010 count by that time of year (per an Oklahoman article). An article in the Oklahoman on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 notes that the 66 homicides so far this year has bested both the 2010 and 2011 total counts (60 each year) by 6 already. To note, 2009 was a bad year with 75 homicides.
Monday, September 17, 2012, KOCO reported that the next City Council meeting would include a discussion about using the $1.2M fund balance for additional police. Kudos to the City for thinking about this.
While it would be great to spend that extra cash on transit, what good is it if we can’t even protect our residents? Adding more police isn’t the only answer to this problem, but it’s certainly key. This past June, Forbes posted an article about crime in Chicago (“Chicago, Summer Crime, and the Slide Toward Detroit“). The article noted: “Following Ludwig, Zimring does arrive at a simple, cost effective recommendation: “First of all, cops matter.” In loads of studies, more police seem to be the only factor neatly correlated with reduced crime. Facing red budgets, both Detroit and Chicago have shrunk their forces.”
The Forbes article also noted another very interesting piece of research: “Research by my University of Chicago colleague Steve Levitt and Julie Cullen of the University of California, San Diego, showed that for every homicide that occurs in a city, total population declines by 70 people.” (Quote by Jens Ludwig, a researcher at the University of Chicago). By extension, Oklahoma City would lose nearly 700 people due to this year’s homicide count. Being theoretical, this is certainly conjecture, but it raises an interesting point.
At what point will the City wake up and recognize that there is a serious violent streak in our city and begin to do more about it?
What do you think the City should do?
EDIT: One thing I should point out – homicides are different from murders. I believe a couple of the homicides are police related, justified homicides. Regardless, a taking of life is a taking of life, and it shouldn’t have to happen, period.
UPDATE 2 – September 25, 2012: Homicide #69 is now listed. Any loss of life is bad, but losing a two year old hurts my heart now that I have my own wonderful daughter (approaching two years old herself).