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What is Behind Homicide Increase?
Five deaths over the weekend pushes Oklahoma City’s homicide rate beyond the total number of cases in all of 2011. The five people died in four different incidents and the cases bring the total number of homicides to 66 for this year. Last year only 60 people died as a result of homicides.
Criminologist Dr. Howard Kurtz says there are several possible explanations to the increase in homicide cases. “Studies in other cities seemed to point to the fact that we were having such a mild winter and so people were more active,” Kurtz told Fox 25.
However Oklahoma City’s crime increase could be a result of our own success. “We’re becoming a big metropolitan area and with that we're getting all the same problems that other metro areas have,” Kurtz said, “And that includes more violence more drugs.” Kurtz points the fact that Oklahoma’s interstate system has always made the city a key pipeline to the nation’s drug supply, but now more people are staying instead of just driving through. “It's a more attractive place to be; as your population grows there are more people to sell drugs.”
Oklahoma City police say the homicide rate is higher than last year’s, but not out-of-place when compared to years past. The city’s number of murder case is not out of place with other similarly sized cities. Kansas City is on homicide 77 for this year. However in San Antonio, a city twice the size of Oklahoma City, police say this weekend they started working just their 67th homicide case of the year. Dr. Kurtz says larger cities have had more experience being destination locations, and Oklahoma City is experiencing the growing pains that come with a sudden spotlight on the national stage. “If we look at some of the other murders we've had recently tied to human trafficking…we’re becoming a different type of community; fortunately not everywhere and not everyone.”
Dr. Kurtz says there is a way to help head off some of the violence the city has seen in recent months by reinvesting in high-crime areas. “We have a lot of areas in Oklahoma city and around Oklahoma City that have been in transition for a very long period of time.” He also says more programs to help keep juveniles off the street and engaged in school will help reduce crime in the long run. And once criminals are in the system, Kurtz says the state has to focus on rehabilitation and not just punishment. “We have to reinvest in Oklahoma we can't just keep locking people up and then putting them back on the street.”
Posted: Tuesday, September 18 2012, 12:05 AM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Obama says nation must do more for fallen heroes
May 25, 2013 10:08 GMT
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the nation must do more than just remember its fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says the country must care for the loved ones the fallen leave behind. He says the country must also make sure that all veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.
Obama says that, above all, the armed forces must have the support needed to carry out their missions at home and abroad.
In the Republican address, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe thanks the nation for its prayers and support following Monday's deadly tornado in his home state. He recalls past natural and man-made disasters in Oklahoma and says that while the state was hard hit, "we're not knocked out."
Obama's address: http://www.whitehouse.gov Republican address: http://www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress
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