Sunday, June 18, 2006

Gary Reese says Crime Rate is UP

Last Monday we had a press conference announcing the federal lawsuit against the City of Las Vegas. The media showed up and a couple of news stations aired the event. I only watched the early news and didn't really pay too much attention to it.

However, IF I caught the news right, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese stated that crime was UP in the neighborhood near Huntridge Circle Park. He also stated something to the effect that after the homeless ate they "went" into the neighborhood. I can't remember the exact word that he used. Drifted? And unfortunately, the video of the news is no longer available on the internet. But I'm curious. How does one get from Circle Park to Circle K without walking through the neighborhood of Circle Park?

Edited: June 25, 2006 The exact word that Reese used was = "dwindled". This is the word I thought he used. But I just didn't think that he would actually use it!

KLAS TV article and video can be seen here:

But, to the point. Coincidently (?) I have been printing out the statistics of the crime in the Circle Park area since November 2005. The statistics come from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department Crime View Community website. The website DOES have a disclaimer which states that this information that they are making available to the public could be inaccurate. Hmmmm. And, you can only do a search for a period of one to 60 days.

What Reese stated and the statistics that I have printed out do not coincide. According to the printouts, crime has NOT gone up in the area of Circle Park. And even if it did go up, filling someone's belly with food does not psych them up to go out and commit crimes. When YOU are finished eating dinner, are you stimulated to go out and steal a car or break into someone's home? In reality, most homeless take a nap after they have satisfied their hunger. Why? Because it's safer to sleep during the day than it is to sleep during the night.

Continuing... after hearing Reese's comments about the crime rate going up, my son called Metro to ask if he could receive the statistics for crime in that area for the past year. (We live in Ward 3 and near Circle Park.) The woman said, yes, she would get that information for him. When my son spoke with her again, she qualified that the charge for the search would be $52.00 per hour.

My son asked, if this is public information could he come and do the research himself. No, you cannot.

So, we have public information that is only available to the public if you pay $52.00 per hour for a city employee to do the search. We have printouts from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department website that may be inaccurate. And we have a politician telling us something that cannot be verified without paying an outrageous fee.

Interesting. Interesting indeed.

One last point. The highest incidents in the area of Circle Park are "Other" Disturbances, Traffic Accidents and Family Disturbances.

Assault and Battery, Burglary, Fight, Narcotics, and Stolen Motor Vehicle incidents are extremely low compared to other areas of town. And, they are NOT up according to the printouts.

Recap of lawsuit:

On Monday, June 12, 2006 homeless advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada held a press conference at Huntridge Circle Park. The press conference was held to announce the federal lawsuit against the City of Las Vegas.

The lawsuit is an attempt to protect EVERYONE'S constitutional rights. This IS what the ACLU does.

The lawsuit will challenge:

1. the requirement for a permit of 25 or more people

2. the practice of marshals "86ing" people from parks without due process of law

3. the city's practice of designating public spaces as "children's parks," where only those with children can enter

"...City ordinances deprive homeless of several rights, ACLU lawsuit alleges

[The lawsuit will challenge] the constitutionality of ordinances they said target people living on the street.

...The federal lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, alleges that city ordinances and practices violate rights including freedom of speech and free exercise of religion.

The homeless are also denied equal protection and due process, the lawsuit said."

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