Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Former NYPD/LAPD Chief Warns Crime Could Worsen Nationwide

A combination of tight budgets at municipal and state government levels plus "poorly socialized youth" (LBJ's Great Grandkids) could result in the reversal of the downtrend in crime across the country over the last 20 years, says William Bratton, who is the only person to have ever led the two largest police forces in the U.S., NYPD and LAPD. He is currently vice chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, and chairman of Kroll, a leading risk-consulting firm.

Freakonomics asked Bratton to comment on the current crime situation and he wrote:
Extended and severe downturns that engender long-term unemployment rates of 15 or 20 percent in poor and minority communities can have criminogenic effects, not only because they foreclose economic opportunities, but also because they perpetuate an underclass culture that fails to educate and socialize young men. As these young men grow, they become the foot soldiers for crime of all kinds, including drug dealing, robberies, burglaries, auto theft, and other larcenies, as well as targeted and random shootings in the public square.

Such extended downturns are also likely to cause revenue shortfalls at the state and local levels that may result in sharp cuts to policing and other government services, as is already happening now...

If the police are disabled in this way just as a larger pool of crime-prone youth comes on the scene, you might see a repeat nationwide of the circumstances that drove crime in New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s. Disabled significantly by the New York City fiscal crisis and subsequent layoffs of police personnel, the NYPD failed to contend with the emerging crack epidemic of the early 1980s, and violent crime surged. With these dual factors – poorly socialized youth and weakened police departments – simultaneously at work, the long-term outlook for crime could worsen significantly, and the positive crime trends of the past 20 years could be reversed.
What's going to happen is that the private sector will more and more seek out and use private sector alternatives to make up for the lack of protection provided by government police forces. This will mean most new crime will be in the government controlled areas such as subways and sidewalks. The Age of Wilding may be upon us.

1 comment:

  1. "This will mean most new crime will be in the government controlled areas such as subways and sidewalks."

    Excellent observation.