Pete's Prep: Monday, July 9, 2018

Asheville's crime spike

It's obvious that the number of crimes is increasing in Asheville. What's less obvious is why.

Here are the latest stats released by the Police Department. The violent crime numbers victims. The property crime numbers are incidents.

January-June 2018 Crime Stats - Source: Asheville Police Dept.

There has been an aggressive push by leftists on City Council and in the activist Democratic Party base to reduce police funding, as well the number of cops.

Anecdotally, I've heard from several current and former cops that many officers believe the Council is working against them. Some are seeking employment elsewhere.

Is there a "Ferguson effect" occurring in Asheville?

American police are under intense scrutiny. There has been much  speculation that increased criticism has led some law enforcement  agencies to pull back, possibly contributing to rising crime in many  cities – an alleged relationship that has come to be termed the  “Ferguson effect.”

Unfortunately, our understanding of this kind of decline in proactive  law enforcement – known as “de-policing” – is long on anecdote but  short on data and research. Does it even occur in the wake of  high-profile shootings? If it does, what are the effects? The answers  may not be as straightforward as they seem.

Asheville City Council is instructing the police chief to stop conducting certain traffic stops and searches. This "de-policing" is what progressives want - particularly in neighborhoods with larger black populations.

When we took a more in-depth look into 118 police departments serving  municipalities with more than 5,000 people, a similar pattern emerged.

Where was such de-policing most likely to occur? Departments serving  jurisdictions with larger African-American populations conducted fewer  stops, searches and arrests in 2015 than in 2014.

Crucially, however, we found that – far from the fearful predictions  of some – this de-policing had no effect on violent or property crime  rates. Which raises a surprising question: In some places, particularly  those – like Ferguson – that were using stops to generate additional  city revenue, could de-policing represent a correction of practices that  served no genuine public safety purpose?

Policing is best employed as a surgical tool. Such tools are most  effective when deployed in highly focused ways on crime hot spots and  against high-rate offenders. More study is needed, but the data from  Missouri suggest a provocative possibility: The Ferguson effect may be  real. And it may be an improvement.

Or not...

After some cities saw a rise in crime last year, police chiefs and even the head of the FBI suggested that the United States was experiencing a “Ferguson effect”:  Police officers sensitive to public scrutiny in the wake of protests  over the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri,  were pulling back on police work, the theory went, and emboldened  criminals were seizing their chance. The evidence for any such effect nationally was mixed  — our colleague Carl Bialik analyzed crime data from 60 major cities in  September and found an increase in homicides in some places, but a  decrease in others. Chicago had seen a 20 percent increase in homicides from the year before, but, as Carl noted, crime statistics are volatile.

Sheriff candidate endorses medical marijuana

Here is the press release from Quentin Miller:

Asheville, N.C. (July 9, 2018) – Quentin Miller, the Democratic candidate for Buncombe County Sheriff, is speaking out about his position on medical marijuana.

“If people are suffering because of cancer or other medical conditions and can be helped by the use of marijuana after consulting with a doctor, I believe they should have access to this method of pain treatment,” says Miller.

“It is important that people realize that the Sheriff does not write laws, but I can and will publicly advocate for medical marijuana if I’m elected. Across our country, 30 states and D.C. have laws in place that allow adults to responsibly use marijuana if approved by a doctor. It’s time for us to take this step forward in North Carolina.”

Miller was born and raised in Asheville and graduated from Asheville High School in 1981. After that he joined the U.S. Army for 11 years where he served as a Military Policeman. While stationed at Fort Bragg in 1985, Quentin met Army Specialist Karen Sconiers who he has been married to for 32 years, they have six children and now enjoy spending time with their nine grandchildren. Quentin and Karen have also fostered more than 100 children in their home since 2005.

Miller served at the Asheville Police Department since 1994 and obtained the rank of Sergeant. He is a highly decorated officer and served as a member of the Asheville Police Department’s original community policing unit "PACT", where he received Officer of the Year and the Overall Regional Award for initiating a street ministry and midnight basketball program for at risk youth. He also led a job training program for unemployed community members, and ran a summer camp for at risk youth for nearly a decade.


But, wait! There's more!

Leftist New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio spent a weekend at Bernie's. That's Sen. Bernie Sanders. The two families hung out in the socialist's paradise summer home in Vermont.

A white guy in Winston-Salem asked a black woman for ID at their neighborhood. Outrage ensued. He got fired from his job.

Get your VIP tickets to this Saturday's Bites & Brews food truck festival before they run out! 

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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