Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cool Summer = Less Murders

There has long been a supposed correlation between hot summer weather and violence. In the summer, kids are out of school and restless. The hot weather exacerbates that. This summer the weather was cooler, and the murder rate has dropped significantly. The city is on track for a 40% decrease in the murder rate this year over last. 3/4 of the way through the year, we have 34 homicides as opposed to a total of 72 last year. Boston has also seen the effects of bad weather with a drop in shootings.

This is great news for an incumbent in an election year even as the Post-Gazette is publishing that Ravenstahl's administration let the ball drop on a sweeping crime-reduction plan. I wrote about the PIRC plan last year when it was announced. I had high hopes that the violence in my nearby neighborhoods would be reduced.

"Press conference, photo-op, no follow-through," said Mr. [Franco Dok] Harris. "We talk a lot, and we don't seem to do much."

Let's make PIRC (Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime) more than a photo-op for the mayor.
This good news will be a short reprieve if Climate Change experts are right. In the long-term, Pittsburgh is expected to have colder winters and hotter summers, which means we better deal with the potential for violence now.

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