Crime Is Getting Worse? Now Where Have I Heard That Before…

Oh, that's right, last summer we did a 4-part series on crime in Charlotte. It's still up on the home page of our web site.

We led off our series with a cover that featured a bullet and asked the question "Will someone please do something?" Well, no one has, really. At the time, we pointed to an exploding population and shrinking police force, as well as a culture clash in CMPD, clogged and underfunded courts, and an increasing gang problem as reasons to worry. CMPD Chief Darrel Stephens kept pointing to the slightly declining violent crime rate as a main reason not to worry.

Well, in March, violent crime jumped. And property crime keeps rising. (Wouldn't it make sense that an increasing property crime rate would eventually lead to an increasing violent crime rate?) Among the reported reasons: well, see above. Now, I really hope that March was an aberration. But plenty of signs, including a worsening economy, point to that not being the case. We hate to say we told you so, especially about something like this, but…

One more thing: a couple months ago, I contacted CMPD about interviewing Chief Stephens for a straight Q&A piece. I wanted to get his thoughts on Charlotte and what he had accomplished during his tenure (he's retiring at the end of June). Apparently, the chief didn't like our series. Through a spokesperson, he declined to talk with me. 

Finally, let's be clear. Charlotte is not another New Orleans or Philadelphia. Overall, Charlotte is a safe place. But, as we wrote in our series, Charlotte has a problem with crime: it's getting worse. So, once again, will someone please do something?

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