More gunfights and fewer cops. The rise of flash mobs and riots at McDonald’s. No, it’s not season 6 of The Wire — it’s a quick scan of this summer’s headlines.
But does the street-level reality match the nightly newscasts? Not by a long shot, based on the city’s own scorecard.
According to figures supplied by Cleveland Police, the body count is actually falling off — and it’s the continuation of a trend. Through the first week of August, Cleveland has seen 43 homicides, down a few notches from 46 for the same period in 2010, which already represented a record decline from the year before that. As recently as 2007, we were capping asses at nearly twice the rate we are today.
Why the continued mellow streak?
“I would say, it’s been working together with our law enforcement partners to get guns off the street,” says police spokesman Sammy Morris. “You get the guns off the street, you get the homicides down.”
Morris points to community efforts like the Gun Buy Back, in which people can hand over their iron in exchange for gas or food cards.
Which just goes to show that, when it comes to the ever-important street-thug vote, it’s still the economy, stupid.