Drop in crime should be no surprise

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 22, 1999

FBI agents aren’t easily surprised. Being prepared for anything is part of their jobs, but a preliminary crime report released Sunday startled experts at the FBI and national criminologists too.

No, it’s not what you think. Crime isn’t on the rise, as many of us might think. The report actually showed that serious reported crimes declined by an astounding 10 percent in the first six months of 1999.

The decline continues a 7 1/2 year decline in crime nationwide.

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And while the statistics don’t mean we can simply do away with law enforcement altogether, the report may in fact show that law enforcement is doing a good job of preventing crime.

Locally, keen-eyed law enforcement officials have utilized grant money to bring state-of-the-art law enforcement technology to our community.

Grant money has computerized records archiving systems at the Natchez Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. At the sheriff’s officer fingerprints are recorded and catalogued electronically. In the city, police officers have laptops in their patrol cars to give them registration information at their fingertips.

The Natchez-Adams Metro Narcotics Task Force is funded in large part by grant money.

Across the river, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office uses grant money to fund everything from laptop computers for patrol cars to helping pay overtime for officers working on holidays.

Such improvements certainly help reduce crime.

And that should be no surprise to anyone, even an FBI agent.