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A Matter Of Opinion

TUESDAY, AUG. 21, 2007, 12:04 P.M.

The return of Crime Check

Our editorial today discussed how the demise of Crime Check was penny-wise but pound-foolish, to use a cliche that says it exactly.

But the lessons learned from the dismantling of Crime Check should stay in the collective memory of city and county officials.

For instance, don't mess with steeped-in-tradition civic programs that work...When the program was diminished and the number changed, calls plummeted. Police agencies lost a valuable source of front-line information.

And they lost citizen confidence that police and elected officials gave a hoot about minor crimes. In 1982, two sociologists pioneered the "broken window" thesis of safe communities. When cities pay attention to the smaller stuff – for instance, repair vandalized windows and paint over graffiti – citizens feel safer and will be more likely to support bigger public safety efforts, such as additional police officers.

Did you ever use the old Crime Check? Did you miss it when it went away? Did you ever use the new one?

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