Crime
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  • Crime breaks down families, and communities.  When trust is gone, people don't feel safe.  Spokane citizens will feel safer when the entire community puts forth an increased effort to fight crime.  
  • Criminals were not raised in jails and prisons.  The pain of past childhood causes many people to seek relief in pleasure, even if it's morally or criminally wrong.  
  • Drugs are the motivation behind most thefts and burglaries in Spokane. 
Statistics
  • Gang-related crime is responsible for 25% of Spokane murders and 80% of our crime.  Our 700 member gang problem is parallel to our drug problem.  Gang members recruit children to sell drugs and commit crimes - a life of violence.  
  • Arson is the 2nd leading cause of fires; and half of all arson arrests are juveniles.  Fires set by juveniles in trash cans, fields, and empty lots are considered acts which lead to bigger and mores serious arson.  Report suspicious activity.  
  • Identity Theft.  Millions of dollars are lost each month in Spokane County due to identity theft.   At least 80% of all such theft is meth-related to finance their habits. 

  • All lives matter.  There have been 158 homicides, including vehicular homicides, in Spokane County from 2007 to 2015.  (Vigil Offers Comfort, by Nina Culver, The Spokesman-Review, September 25, 2015) 
  • Spokane has 3 incarceration facilities which house 3,500 inmates behind bars.  Each year we release 2,000 inmates into our community, many of which have no job, no home, and no money.  (Spokane County Jail, Airway Heights Prison, Geiger Correction Facility)

  • In 2012, there were 30,045 crimes in Spokane County that were reported to law enforcement; a rate of 63.2 crimes per 1,000 residents. The majority of those were property crimes.

  • 2011 Statewide Crime Report - The city of Spokane had one of the highest crime rates in the State.  Spokane had a higher crime rate than Seattle, Tacoma or Yakima.  Spokane also topped the list for property crime; and Spokane came in second for violent crime at 6.2%.  

    Both Spokane and Tacoma have populations of about 200,000 people; yet Spokane has 100 less officers on the street. Spokane employs 275 commissioned officers, where Tacoma has 375.  Because Spokane has a much smaller budget and rising health care costs, it leaves the department with fewer resources to fight crime. 

    Spokane County's overall crime rate significantly topped the crime rates in both Pierce and King Counties.  (KREM-TV, by Ashley Korslien, KREM.com, Reported May 17, 2012
    http://www.krem.com/news/local/Spokane-tops-statewide-crime-report-151956795.html

  • In 2012, the crime rate in Spokane County was drastically reduced due to outstanding law enforcement and support from our citizens in fighting crime.   
What You Can Do

  • Get involved.  Help reduce the crime rate in Spokane.  Report anything suspicious to law enforcement. 

  • Volunteer with Spokane C.O.P.S or Spokane County S.C.O.P.E. 

  • Learn from the success of others.   Research the policies in other cities which have reduced their crime rates.  Share what you have learned with city councils. 

  • Stand up, speak up, and make a difference.  Support our law enforcement in fighting crime. 

  • If jails and prisons solved crime, we would have less crime and fewer people incarcerated.  Volunteers are essential in reforming criminals, because they can offer relationships, which motivate people to want to develop their capacities and change their undesirable behavior. 

  • Religious volunteers are especially effective.  The teachings of Christ can change attitudes and behavior faster than simply trying to change behavior.  When people accept the teachings of Christ, they are changed within, and then they change their own behavior.  Jails and prison walls do not improve behavior, because good behavior cannot be imposed by law.  If merely placing people in prison was effective, felons would never return to jail.  Religious volunteers have greatly reduced the recidivism rate. 

  • Volunteer to strengthen families.  Volunteer to work with parents.  Teach fathers to love and be responsible for their children.  Teach fathers that sons raised outside of an intact marriage are, on average, more than twice as likely as other boys to end up in jail.  We will never have enough jails, prisons, ambulances, or counselors until we strengthen families.  The cost of building facilities, of maintaining them, of feeding and clothing and guarding the inmates is staggering.  All of those inmates are the products of homes--the place where behavior is learned, where standards are taught, where values are established.  The path that led to incarceration, in so very many cases, began in childhood.  (Maggie Gallagher, "Fatherless Boys Grow Up into Dangerous Men," Dec. 1, 1998, A22)

  • Nextdoor is a FREE private social network designed to build stronger and safer neighborhoods and communities.  It is the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world.

    Next Door is designed to help neighbors -
    • Keep crime down.  Quickly get the word out about a break-in. 
    • Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
    • Keep up with local events
    • Focus on the people and place where you live
    • Receive neighborhood news and events
    • Receive alerts about their neighborhood.
    • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
    •  Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
    • Find a new home for an outgrown bike
    • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name
Nextdoor's mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood, one of the most important communities in each of our lives.  “Nextdoor” hosts neighborhoods in all 50 states, including some in Spokane. Thousands of neighborhoods are using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.  Visit Nextdoor at https://nextdoor.com/
  • Legendary criminal Whitey Bulger was captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run.  He was convicted in 2013, sentenced to 2 life-terms plus 5 years for his role in 11 murders, federal racketeering, extortion and conspiracy.  At the age of 85, Bulger wrote about a life he called ‘wasted’ in a letter from behind bars at a high security federal penitentiary in Florida.  



    “Don’t waste your time on such as I.  We are society’s lower, best forgotten…I’m a 9th grade dropout from school and took the wrong road…My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame and suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon. Advice is a cheap commodity; some seek it from me about crime. If you want to make crime pay, go to law school… sincerely, James Bulger.”    (Mob Memories, reporter Elaine Quijano, CBS This Morning, June 29, 2015)


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