Crime and the City

Our son Stephen is home from the Big Apple for Thanksgiving. He lives in a spiffy new high-rise on the west side of Manhattan, in a redeveloping neighborhood that I would have been afraid to walk in even ten years ago.

I don’t worry about his living in that neighborhood, however, because crime in New York has fallen steadily over the past couple of decades. You can quibble about the reasons (my son suggests it’s because poor people can no longer afford to live there; defenders of “stop and frisk” say it’s because racial profiling and willingness to ignore the civil liberties of minorities has worked), but whatever the reasons, the bottom line is that New York is 65.4% less dangerous to live in than Indianapolis.

According to, “in New York, as compared to Indianapolis, IN you are: 40.5% less likely to get robbed, 45.6% less likely to get murdered, 81.8% less likely to get your car stolen.”

Last year, Indianapolis had 11.5 murders per 100,000 people. New York had 6.3. We had 52.2 rapes per 100,000; New York had 13.3. Etcetera.

I seem to recall Greg Ballard running for Mayor on the promise that he would make crime “Job One.”

I hope he’s doing better with whatever Job Two was…..


  1. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah! I understand that this particular alignment of holidays will not occur again for seventy-seven thousand years. (77,000 years???) No question that any of us will be around for that! Brian Williams said it best when he mentioned that on NBC Nightly News, and he closed by saying, in his best pseudo-Yiddish, “You should live so long!”

  2. “Red George”; don’t forget our newly acquired pro hockey team name Fuel – FUEL, WTF does that signify? My cousin’s sister-in-law was married to one of our hockey players years ago. She answered her door early one morning to find her husband’s Canadian wife standing there. They had a long and interesting conversation, both had children and both divorced the fool. Maybe he was just trying to keep warm at each end of his trips.

    My granddaughter lives in a beautiful condo at 16th and College; you can imagine my screams of protest when she gave me her address 2 1/2 years ago. I hadn’t been in that area for years and didn’t recognize it when I visited her. I have the Star 911 calls saved on my Favorite Places and check the calls each morning for a few addresses. It has been surprising that the crime rate at 16th and College is much lower than where my daughter lives at East Washington and Emerson Avenue in Irvington. Maybe the criminals have moved to greener pastures…but much of that area has deteriorated. One friend had lived just south of Washington on Downey Avenue for years; he decided it was time to move when he discovered his two young children knew all of the hookers by name.

    Let us not forget Broad Ripple; once an elite place to live, shop and go for entertainment. The crime rate in that area has sky rocketed in recent years. How very sad; but the same is true for much of the Irvington area. There really is no safe area in Indianapolis; some are just more crime-ridden than others.

  3. I’m not a big city girl at all but I loved NY. Indy, not so much. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!

  4. I have always felt the best way to prevent crime is to have jobs that a young person can aspire to, or at least make a living at. Our once proud and robust Industrial Base has been reduced as if a bombing campaign. My first job was at a Mc Donalds in the late 1960’s. Next job was at a Steel Mill in South Chicago. It was a dirty, dangerous and in some respects a mind numbing experience. The starting hourly pay at the Mill was over 2 1/2 times what Mc Donalds paid. There were opportunities for advancement. The mill there employed over 2,500 steel workers. That Mill along with many others in that area is gone. It has been wiped from the earth. The Mc Donalds is still there.

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