CRIME--UP, DOWN OR SIDEWAYS?.... ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Sunday, October 14, 2007


CRIME--UP, DOWN OR SIDEWAYS?....It could be the title of a new police comedy movie from Hollywood, but it's about whether or not we as citizens get a straight picture of our local problem. Today's Capital attempts to dissect our city's crime stats, but CP fears it just muddies the waters, though not necessarily the fault of our local paper. People playing politics instead of public service are doing that as they point the finger at each other for making it look good, bad or otherwise. Local activists Dennis Conti and Trudi McFall take one side while Mayor Moyer and Chief Johnson, sometimes through city spokesperson Ray Weaver, take another. See

Police Chief Johnson calls Conti's report about worsening crime "crap" and "trash." Meanwhile, McFall, a putative Mayoral candidate (can we please hold off on this for a year or two???) is making crime her early "hammer" and keeps hitting it. Both McFall and Conti, former Housing Authority leaders, have continued to claim that HACA residents are not more responsible for crime, but in fact, are slightly LESS responsible for criminal activity than the overall city populace.

CP is planning a public forum on crime (with Conti and others) specifically to present and examine the facts of crime trends. CP has had many conversations with Conti and seen him, McFall and HACA Director Eric Brown make public presentations about this issue. While CP is open-minded and finds much of McFall and Conti's research to be compelling and stimulating, he still takes issue with a lack of scholarly or dispassionate review. CP has repeatedly asked Conti to subject his analysis to a rigorous scientific review and has suggested turning to the University of Maryland, home to a world-class criminology department. Fortunately Scott Daughtery of The Capital interviewwed two academics, but due to space limitations, was unable to fully explain the situation.

Meanwhile, who is in charge? The Mayor? The Police Chief? Conti and McFall are concerned citizens and they get blasted by the Police Chief. Politics. Politics. Politics. The Mayor wants a horse (Whoa,boy, neigh, whoaaa!!), a few Segway contraptions (that the police don't want) yet CP sees little progress in making up our deficit of 23 police officers. Criminals take note!!!! It's getting easier and easier for you as our police are getting strapped more and more, not unlike our military getting stretched too thin. We have two officers in Iraq right now. Does that tell us something? More to come....


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