Sunday, December 16, 2012

Your papers, y'all.

In response to a recent increase in crime, Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall offered residents at a town hall meeting Thursday night at West View Baptist Church what could be considered an extreme solution — armed officers patrolling the streets on foot.
Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.
"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."
Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.
"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."
Gaskill backed Stovall's proposed actions during Thursday's town hall.
"They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."
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They're going to have to prove it? In Paragould, Arkansas? In the United States?

I did a little checking: In 2010, Paragould's population was 26,113, is 94.4% white, the nearest big city with a population of more than 200,000 is Memphis TN which is 71 miles away.
From 1999 to 2010, there was ONE murder and in 2010 (the highest year) there were 59.2 rapes per 100,000 residents, there were 31.6 robberies per 100,000 residents and 248.5 assaults per 100,000 residents.
That covers violent crime in Paragould.

Their biggest problem appears to be theft which covers everything down to shoplifting, excluding car thefts and burglaries which have their own categories.
In 2009 the crime index was 506.3 and in 2010 it dropped to 465.4 with the national index being 319.1.
It does show that in 2003 the crime index was 106.6 and in 2005 it jumped to 525.5 with statistics from 2004 not available.
In 2010, there were 1.62 police officers per 1000 residents.
My source is http://www.city-data.com/city/Paragould-Arkansas.html

Why the big spike in non-violent crimes from 2003 to 2005? I would imagine for the same reason it jumped everywhere else in that time frame - methamphetamine use. Fucking tweekers stealing to support their habits.
That does not justify having to explain to a cop in SWAT gear why you're out on the streets.