Those who live in and around the Nation's capital know that crime is up just a bit. Paul is complaining that the summer tourist crowds are not flocking in record numbers to Georgetown as they normally would, and around our neighborhood in southern Arlington, the serenity of young couples walking their children and pets, is shattered by the occasional reports of break-ins and burglaries. Mathias Caro of Icarus Fallen makes a note of it, in light of a recent article in the Washington Post:
"I'm glad mayor Anthony Williams is black. Anyone else suggesting curfews and more videos survaillance for a largely black population would be targeted a racist..."
As I recall, Williams was labeled an "Oreo" early in his term of office, because he was light-skinned. Wearing a bow-tie without being a member of the Nation of Islam probably didn't help either. That, and not padding the city payroll with friends and relatives like a certain predecessor of his. (Of course, if it keeps them off the streets and out of the pool halls...) Personally, I think Williams is the best mayor the city has had in recent years. He has a clue, but not a prison record. That alone sets him apart from some of the others.
It wouldn't be so bad if the survaillance cameras had green lights that went on so people would know they're being watched. But we know that's not going to happen. And as long as I keep getting notices in the mail that a camera caught me speeding once a year in the same city block, I don't have much sympathy for a city that complains that they can't impose a commuter tax. As if federal subsidies aren't enough, they'll squeeze it out of me some other way.
Caro is right, though. What worked in New York City can certainly do the trick here.