Monday, October 30, 2006

World Series Champs In Most Dangerous City

The St. Louis Cardinals may be the World Series Champs, but their home city isn't safe. In fact, it has been found to be the most dangerous city in the United States. Many factors play into these statistic, but it has to make people just a little uneasy to know that living in St. Louis is not as safe as it may have been in the past.
The problems in St. Louis are a result of "a trend of violent crimes rising much faster in the Midwest than in the rest of nation." Apparently, the Heartland of the US has become a much more dangerous place in recent years. But St. Louis has always done poorly when compared to other cities in terms of safety. What finally pushed it to the top of the list was a "violent crime surge of nearly 20 percent in St. Louis from 2004 to last year."
St. Louis, of course, is not sitting idlely by and remaining at the top of this list. Being home to a World Series team changes things. In recent years, the city "has been spending millions of dollars on urban renewal even as the crime rate climbs." They are trying. And other cities should definitely follow in their example. At least try to fix the problem. Don't let it fester and become worse.
St. Louis replaced Camden, New Jersey as the most dangerous city. In Camden, the mayor appeared as if she had won the World Series of mayors. Gwendolyn Faison was thrilled to learn that her city no longer topped the most-dangerous list. "You made my day!" said Faison, who has served since 2000. "There's a new hope and a new spirit." Faison's city is followed on the list of dangerous cities by "Detroit, followed by Flint, Michigan, and Compton, California."
Of course the list is not all bad news. Along with the most dangerous cities, is also a list of the safest cities in America. That list includes "Brick, New Jersey, with a population about 78,000, followed by Amherst, New York, and Mission Viejo, California." These cities should be an example for the rest of the nation. It is possible to lower crime rates nationwide. Other cities should try and adapt what these safe cities have done to make their own better.
I am a realist. I know that a city cannot be 100% safe. But I am also hopeful that cities can be made safer. It starts at home. And it continues in local government. Be active in your city and make your leaders work on the problems. It can be done.


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