Here’s The Key To Solving Violent Crime: Lisa B. Nelson and Ja’Ron Smith in The Daily Caller
ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson co-authored a guest column in The Daily Caller with Ja’Ron Smith, Partner at Dentons Global Advisors and Head of the Public Safety Solutions for America Coalition, highlighting the benefits of community-centered policing in solving violent crime and improving relations between neighborhood residents and law enforcement.
The historic rise in violent crime over the last several years has been coupled with an even more alarming statistic: less than half of violent crimes are “cleared” by an arrest, meaning most serious offenses remain unsolved. With police departments and prosecutors’ offices hamstrung by misguided policy and tighter budgets, it is no wonder the murder rate shot up 34% between 2019 and 2022. If America wants safer streets, it should embrace a community-centered approach that is surgical in striking against violence, while strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and neighborhood residents.
Because violent crime is usually concentrated in geographic locations and social networks (“hotspots”), it follows that to reduce violent crime, police resources are best utilized where crime occurs most. This tactic has been shown to effectively reduce crime in high-crime pockets of cities, with positive effects extending to surrounding areas.
The city of Dallas, Texas has successfully implemented a violence reduction plan that utilizes this approach. After its implementation in 2021, murders decreased 13% that year and another 9% in 2022. Overall, violent crime dropped 5.5% in 2022. Additionally, arrests decreased by 11% — focusing on “hotspots” not only decreased crime, it simultaneously reduced unnecessary contact with the justice system, freeing up more resources to be put towards the most serious offenses.