About once or twice a month, San Diego cops swarm inner-city neighborhoods and arrest every minor who is outside past 10 p.m..

It doesn’t matter whether they are dealing drugs or playing soccer. They get cuffed. Curfew arrests have more than tripled in the last five years. The kids pay fines or go into diversion programs after being detained until someone comes to pick them up.

It is one of the city’s most heralded crime-fighting programs. Police and politicians assert that the mass arrests reduce violent crime involving minors.

But our data analysis challenges the claim that the sweeps are responsible for a reduction in juvenile crime. Juvenile crime has gone down in the neighborhoods with the sweeps.

The thing is, juvenile crime is going down across the city. And we didn’t just stop there. We looked across the state. Areas without regular curfew sweeps have seen an equal, or even greater, decline.

Here is side note on how we analyzed the sweeps.

One City Councilwoman and the assistant police chief said our reporting has made them want to analyze the program closer.

Bay Cleanup Ruling on its Way

San Diego Bay may get an “unprecedented cleanup” underway with the insistence of federal regulators, U-T San Diego reports.

Centrist San Diego Women Uncomfortable with GOP

The New York Times checked in with women in San Diego and many other places to prove a thesis that centrist women were growing disenchanted with the Republican Party. Our Rob Davis contributed reporting.

Also from The Times, San Diego was one of many areas that saw an increase in public transit usage.

U-T Axes Doonesbury Due to Abortion Storyline

The U-T is joining a few other papers around the country in refusing to run this week’s “Doonesbury” comic strips because they feature a storyline about an abortion law in Texas.

The left-leaning comic strip mocks a Texas law that requires what the Associated Press calls an “invasive transvaginal ultrasound” examination before women can have abortions. “One panel equates the invasive procedure to rape and describes the device used to perform it as a ’10-inch shaming wand,’” the AP reports.

“I read the strip. I talked with other editors here and around the country, and with Steve Breen. But it wasn’t a hard call. This isn’t appropriate for our comics,” said U-T editor Jeff Light in a story.

For SD Man, Decades-Delayed Resolution in Wife’s Death

The remarkable story of an ex-Los Angeles police detective who was convicted of murder last week has a San Diego connection. DNA helped detectives develop a case against Stephanie Lazarus, who worked on the LAPD’s art theft squad, in the 1986 death of a 29-year-old woman. Lazarus was jealous of the woman’s marriage to an engineer named John Ruetten, who now lives in the San Diego area and has long had connections here.

The Atlantic has a lengthy story about the case, and the LA Times reported on Ruetten’s recent testimony about the deadly love triangle.

Quick News Hits

• Escondido officials still want a minor-league ballpark for their city, and they’ve come up with a unique way to attract investors who aren’t in the U.S.: convince them to cough up money in return for boosting their chances to live here legally, the NC Times reports. Yes, there’s a program to allow foreign investors to do that.

• Oh the places they’ll go! Elected officials, that is. The U-T finds that local state lawmakers gobbled up all-expenses-paid trips — courtesy of a variety of groups that want something in return — to places like Israel, Italy, Washington D.C., Mexico City, Maui and China, the U-T reports.  

Watch What You Say or They Will

A cnn.com columnist reports that “San Diego” is on a government watchlist of words and phrases that might draw attention to you from the Department of Homeland Security or its contractors if you use them on social media. Others include “Southwest border violence,” “clouds,” “drug war” and “waves.”

The column says: “If you posted on Twitter, ‘I’m going on vacation to San Diego, hope no clouds because want to catch some waves,’ your tweet would be considered suspicious because you used three words on the watch list.”

I’d be suspicious too. Anyone who’d post such an annoying tweet is obviously up to no good.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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