I love positive stories, but, don't get to do them very often on the crime beat. Once in awhile, I get to interview someone who‘s acted as a good Samaritan and that's wonderful.
This week, I got to do a positive story about the crime rate in Tulsa and can I just say, it's about time! We've been inundated with crime news for so long and hearing about the increase in violent crimes, the record setting homicide rates, the armed robberies every time you turn around, that it's nice to think the tide is finally turning.
We compared the first four months of last year with the first four months of this year for reported crimes and lo and behold, they were down in every crime category. Homicides were the most dramatic, at nearly 60 percent down. Auto thefts also had a big decrease, 33 percent. Other crimes weren't down as much, but, hey, down is down.
It would be great to see the trend continue throughout this summer, when violent and property crimes often spike. Maybe it will. Maybe we are finally headed to a more peaceful time. It's hard to know what causes all crime and hard to know how to prevent it. People have spent much time and money trying to figure out both.
Whatever the reason, let's just take a minute to rejoice that fewer people are being robbed, raped and murdered in our town. Let's teach our kids the value of life and compassion for others and let's fight back when the small crimes happen, in hopes of preventing the bigger ones. Let's show criminals that crime doesn't pay on any level. Let's take care of our neighbors, lend a helping hand and watch each other's back.
Of course, on a practical level, we still had 9,604 crimes reported last year. Those aren't just numbers, those are people, who had their car broken into or their front door kicked in or were robbed. These are people who will deal with the effects of being a victim for weeks or in some cases, years. Even one crime is too many. Even one victim, is too tragic. Let's enjoy the crime drop in the first four months of this year, but, never stop being vigilant, never stop working with at risk kids, never stop being part of the solution, rather than problem.