|Stock Photo by Brian Lary|
The RAND Corporation published a report recently that chronicles the true cost of crime on a given community. From the cost of investigating it to the economic impact on businesses and residents that flee as a result of crime and everything in between, they factored it all in. Their results were published in a study entitled Hidden in Plain Sight: What Cost-of-Crime Research Tells Us About Investing in Police.
They estimate that each murder ultimately costs a given community between $5 - $8 million. Since Detroit has experienced a total of 240 murders as of August 26, this means that this crime has costs us as a community someone between $1.2 - $1.9 billion.
There is a lot that the police can do to reduce the levels of murders and other crimes that happen. All too often, though, discussions about those things get sidetracked by an institutional desire to maintain the status quo for those in senior leadership positions as the City of Detroit navigates its way through the latest budget crisis. Too many people in positions of power would rather keep the 12 assistant and deputy chiefs on the payroll - and with their sizable personal staff - than redirect resources to the street level activities that have proven to reduce the murder rates in other cities.
Of course, one would think that the $1.2 billion (and counting) in economic impact would prompt them to reassess their priorities. So far, it hasn't but there's is always hope.