2016-03-02 / Editorials

Let’s Keep It The Safest

New York City is still the safest large city in America, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, and in the top 10 of the safest cities in the world, as reported in CNN.com about a year ago, and that is good, but why not try for Number One? Tokyo is the world’s most populous city according to the United Nations, but they did it, so we can too. Just to satisfy your curiosity, New York City came in 10th out of 50 major urban cities, with Singapore, Osaka, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Sydney, Zurich, Toronto, and Melbourne in second to ninth place, respectively. The Safe Cities Index 2015 was compiled by The Economist and rated cities in terms of digital safety, health security, infrastructure and personal safety.

As great as New York City is, there were some dismal times. Crime skyrocketed in the ‘80s to the early ‘90s. New York was rescued from the brink by Mayor Giuliani when he responded directly to the horrible situation by instituting strong policing. The increased protection and vigilance of the police brought the city back from a certain demise, in which it was looking like the apocalypse was upon us. Crime was brought way down, people again felt safe to invest in local businesses, buy property and develop it, as well as partake in all the night life, mass transportation, public spaces and parks – in short, the city thrived. We experienced tremendous growth with Giuliani at the helm, and the trend continued under Mayor Bloomberg. Queens and Brooklyn boomed, now that people felt safe to enjoy this beautiful city which was getting stronger continually, until 2014, which was historically low in crime, with 333 homicides, compared to 1990, when we had 2,245.

Unfortunately, we have slipped somewhat since then. We are seeing signs of a negative trend, with rising numbers of homeless, and slashings of citizens minding their own business, anecdotes of threatening approaches and other instances of people feeling unsafe in general. We must not go back to the bad old days of rampant crime and other quality of life issues.

A major factor for the improved standing in safety was increased police presence, which allows law-abiding citizens and visitors the peace of mind to go about their business or pleasure in comfort and security, taking advantage of all the city has to offer. The police must continue to be given the most cutting edge training, technology, support, and staffing, and then be allowed to do their job. Crime does not sleep and we must keep the police force at its height, to protect the progress we have made, and perhaps one day be the World’s Safest City.

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