Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.
By Ross Parker
Recent studies have shown that, because of the barrage of technology like the social media, our attention spans are about half what they were ten years ago. For computer users, like ticklethewire readers, this attention span has been calculated to be 8 seconds, about the same as a goldfish.
For those of you who are still reading this, as a public service the following are the latest numbers in ten law enforcement/crime categories presented as succinctly as possible:
1. Violent Crime Statistics increased 1.2% in 2012, the first increase after a five-year decline of about 15%. Stats were up for murder, robbery, and aggravated assault, down for rape, burglary and arson. Property crime dropped .8%. The largest increase occurred in the West (3.3%), the lowest in the Northeast (-.6%).
2. Law Enforcement Officers Killed, Assaulted—72 officers were killed in the line of duty, a significant increase over the 41 to 57 per year in the previous nine years. Another 53 were killed in accidents, mostly in auto accidents. 54,774 were assaulted (about 1 in 10 officers). The most dangerous time—between midnight and 2 a.m. The safest time—between 6 and 8 a.m. 1,686 federal officers were assaulted, 3 killed. The most dangerous federal agency—U.S. Department of Home Security.
3. Prison Population dropped for the third year in a row, about 1.7%, which interestingly is almost exactly the same decrease as the number of students entering college this year.
4. Capital Punishment—Prisoners under a sentence of death dropped from 3139 to 3082 last year. 43 were executed in 9 states, the same number as the previous year but about half the number a decade ago. Texas executed 15 last year,10 so far this year, including one woman, Kimberly McCarthy.
5. Law Enforcement Officer Employment remained steady at 2.4 per 1,000 people in the U.S. Employees in law enforcement was about 3.4/1.000. Of the officers, 88.2 were male, 11.8% female. Of employees 73.4% were male and 26.6% female.
6. Crime Clearance by Arrest was 47.7% for violent crimes, 18.6% for property crimes. The highest clearance rate was 64.8% for murder, the lowest 11.9% for motor vehicle theft. The highest rate occurred in the South (50.1%), the lowest in the West (42.5%).
7. School Crime increased by 4 % last year over the previous year. There were 1,246,000 victimizations in our nation’s schools. Intentional homicides on school property jumped from 11 to 25.
8. DOJ Police Department Investigations in President Obama’s first term were double the number in President Bush’s second term. Cities under investigation include Miami, New Orleans, Seattle, Missoula, Montana, and East Haven, Connecticut. Subjects of the investigations include use of excessive force, racial profiling, treatment of the mentally ill, and sexual assault investigations. The federal court consent decree against the Detroit Police Department for excessive force, false arrests, and illegal detentions has been in effect for 11 years.
9. Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S. are, in order, Flint, Michigan, Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, and Memphis. Despite this dubious achievement St. Louis recently slashed its law enforcement budget.
10. Most Dangerous Cities in the World –all 15 were in Latin America. The five most dangerous in order are San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Acapulco, Mexico, Caracas, Venezuela, Distrit Central, Honduras, and Torreon, Mexico. If you are wondering why Honduras and Mexico top the world in this category, see the earlier columns on America’s insatiable appetite for drugs and the effect it has on countries on the transportation route from source countries to the American consumers.
For those of you who made it to the end, you must be over 40 since the attention span plummet seems to occur mostly in our children’s generation.