Numbers help keep Carson's crime problem in perspective

Carson City may look less safe than it did a decade ago, but it's reassuring that crime numbers seem to tell a different story.

Graffiti is becoming more and more common in the capital city, and each scrawl hints at much more illicit behavior occurring under darkness of night. Fortunately, at least from a statistical viewpoint, other types of crime have not increased during the past decade. In some cases, it's down significantly. For example, Nevada Department of Public Safety statistics show the city had 373 burglaries in 1996, but 291 a decade later, despite having grown in population by nearly 9,000 people.

Despite the perception created by that graffiti, Carson City is by most accounts still a safe place to live.

But we agree with Sheriff Kenny Furlong when he suggests that is not good enough when it comes to the gang issue: "Anything less than eradication is tolerance."

We hold that to be true for all crimes in Carson City, which should strive for a reputation for intolerance of all manners of crime. Whether that means the answer is for voters to approve the question on the November ballot to provide more officers remains to be seen.

But there are things we can do now.

On Saturday, you can talk to the people who know better than anyone what's happening late at night in our neighborhoods, at the "Cops 'N' Kids" event at the Sheriff's Office, 911 E. Musser St., from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Don't let the name fool you, the Safe Streets - Street Party is for adults, too. In fact, it's a great place to learn how you can help make your neighborhood virtually crime-proof.

And remember to keep the new Secret Witness phone number programmed in your phone (322-4900.) The number for students to report a crime at school is 283-1799. To learn more about the program, visit the Web site

• This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board


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