Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

August 14, 2013

Violent crime rate raises eyebrows

NEW YORK — Most Oklahomans, if asked which cities in their state log the most violent crimes, would probably say Oklahoma City or Tulsa. But that’s not necessarily so, according to Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit organization that generates and disseminates information on in-depth and investigative issues.

While the state’s two largest cities usually get most of the ink and air time, some smaller burgs run about dead even statistically with Tulsa, and fare even worse than OKC. That’s based on figures provided by the FBI.

Ardmore, with a population of about 24,500, was at the head of the pack, marking 405 violent crimes in 2011 – the most recent year for which statistics are available. That’s 1,650 per 100,000 residents, which could be cause for alarm among cities of this south-central Oklahoma city. Tulsa came in second, followed by Durant and Ada, and then OKC.

The closest city to Tahlequah that appeared in the list of the 20 most violent cities in 2011 was Muskogee, which weighed in at No. 13; it was bracketed by Glenpool at No. 12 and Okmulgee at No. 14. The only other Green Country cities on the list were Miami, at No. 17, and McAlester, rounding it out at No. 20.

It should be noted that the data point to increases in violent crime, not just its occurrence. That’s an interesting observation, since overall in the United States, violent crime declined each year from 1992 to 2011, other than 2005 and 2006. The 2011 rate was almost 50 percent lower than in 1992, according to the FBI.

And from 2007 to 2011, the drop in the country’s violent crime rate averaged about 5 percent each  year. In Oklahoma, the decline was only 1.5 percent. Most experts give the continuing economic doldrums at least part of the blame.

Where does Tahlequah fit into this picture? No one really knows, because according to Oklahoma Watch, the Tahlequah Police Department probably didn’t submit numbers to the FBI. It could have been an oversight, or the former administration may have elected not to participate. Lack of detail certainly doesn’t indicate no crime happened that year, as a search on our website can attest.

Incidentally, Hulbert did turn in figures. With its population of 596 that year, it reported one violent crime, which was an aggravated assault.

While such information may pander to the baser instincts of alarmists, ambulance chasers and rubberneckers, it’s also a matter of public record – and it’s information to which the local public should have access. We trust Police Chief Nate King will offer his constituents a more transparent look at crime in their community.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014

  • Mom responsible for watching kid; restaurant’s not

    If you allowed your child to drink a bottle of drain cleaner, would you feign surprise when he fell to the floor, twitching and foaming at the mouth? If you left your curling iron within reach of your baby and she pulled it off the vanity and burned her hand, would you plan revenge on the store that sold you the appliance?
    You just might, if you’re among the litigious Americans who have abdicated parental responsibility to either sloth or the hope of a better tomorrow through a cash settlement.

    March 19, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Stocks