Should it really come as a surprise that when citizens, police, and local officials get together the crime rate goes down? If so, a new report put together for Figgie International Inc., a consumer-service firm, should dispel doubts - and underscore the importance of community action.
The study examined a number of diverse communities around the United States. To cite one example: over a three-year period police monitored two Detroit neighborhoods located four miles apart. One had a community service network. The other did not. Result: In the neighborhood where police, citizens, and government formed an alliance to combat crime and resolve pressing social problems, the crime rate dropped 58 percent. In the other neighborhood, crime fell 3 percent. In other words, it's downright difficult for criminality to flourish in a setting where people look out for each other.