The City recently reported that the overall crime rate from last year to this year has remained stable. Under our current circumstances, business as usual is not good news. Rochester has the highest crime rate in the state and one of the highest in the nation. Furthermore, despite the supposed steady state, calls to 911 in Rochester are up 13% this year.
- Replace Chief Sheppard: We need a chief who can manage and supervise the department and get the most out of the officers.
- Patrol the City: Rochester has enough patrol officers to place 8 officers a day per square mile. In order to reduce crime, we must get these officers back on patrol in the neighborhoods.
- Reduce police response time: Our officers spend their day driving around the city. Often after going out on a call, they will drive all the way back to the Public safety building. While this might be okay for Bullshead, it is a disaster for Charlotte.
- Increase public confidence in the police: The public trust is at an all time low. In order to correct this, we must create an independent civilian review board with investigative and punitive powers.
- Discourage crime by repairing, filling and preventing vacant homes: The broken window theory tells us that crime is attracted to deteriorated neighborhoods. If our neighborhoods look better, then drug dealers will be less likely to take residence. Boarded windows are invitations to drug dealers, copper thieves and vandals. We must invest in the repair of vacant homes, and use them for public good and urban homesteading. The City needs to fix eye sores and fill them with home owners who have a vested interest in their neighborhoods. To further facilitate this, we should return to the adopt a neighborhood program and provide jobs for people who pick up trash in these neighborhoods.
- Increase student employment: Poverty is one of the biggest causes of crime, and drugs are often involved. In many neighborhoods the only people who are hiring are the drug dealers. To reduce this we should create a summer job program where all students who pass their school grade are offered a part time summer job. Upon successful completion of summer employment, they will get weekly payments as long as they meet attendance criterion.
- Increase hours and programs at recreation centers and libraries: It is an old saying that idle hands are the devils playthings. This is certainly true for people in our communities. We need to offer longer hours at our libraries and recreation centers, and increase the number of staff to provide additional programs and activities to keep young people occupied.
With these programs we can start to greatly reduce crime. The sooner we start, the better.