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I’ve been meaning to get this out for a couple of days, but I’ve been tied up on other things.

On Monday morning, I attended a press conference at the Police helicopter base at Montgomery Field. Announced at the conference were the latest crime statistics, which the mayor and police chief announced with wide smiles.

The stats were, by all accounts, very positive: Overall crime was down 8.7 percent from the first three months of 2006, according to the figures. Violent crime was down 9.4 percent for the first quarter of 2007 over 2006.

Every day for the last six weeks or so, I have been getting a nightly crime report from the police department. It’s a service that the department offer members of the media so that we can know what has happened overnight. Often, those stories you see on TV news are essentially regurgitations of something that came out on one of those reports.

We don’t report every car crash and robbing. We don’t have the time or the resources, and people can find that out in plenty of other places.

That doesn’t mean I don’t read them, I do, and every night there’s usually a mix of a couple of car crashes, maybe a stabbing. Occasionally there’s a shooting reported. Of course, some days are busier than others, sometimes the report is blank

But, after hearing how much violent crime has come down, it was with some shock that I opened this on Tuesday morning.

On Monday night/Tuesday morning, there were three shootings, one of which was a homicide, three stabbings, one slashing, one armed robbery and two serious injury collisions.

I spoke to Jeff Jordon, a police officer who works in Western Division, later on Tuesday and he told me Monday night had been a “crazy night.” “There were calls coming in from all over,” he said.

Of course, Monday was that incredible, sunny, hot day that brought people out of their homes and into parks and beaches in droves. As soon as I thought about the possible connection between the weather and the crime, I remembered something the chief told me at Monday’s press conference.

“The summer is always different,” he said, “we may see a change.”

We’ll keep watching and see how drastic that change is.


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