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Having the complete picture on a problem, is a perfect way to build a solution.

Jon Antoine

Public Safety Director, Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs

If you skim any mainstream news journal you often find headlines that aim to draw you in to read more. For example, “Mom Allegedly Confesses to Killing Her Three Young Kids” – CBS News or “Feds on Alert for Traffickers at Super Bowl” – Fox News or “Professor Charged with Spending $200k In Research Grants on Strippers, iTunes, Food and More” – Daily News. 

Are they simply reporting the news from a perspective that is full of veracity or framed in a way to sway the interest of the read? We, as residents, patrons of society, voters, etc.…want to always trust that any news being reported or shared with us is aligned with an oath of commitment to tell the truth. Once in a while, however, it appears that more evidence is needed to unequivocally justify the particulars being presented.

Occasionally, South Atlanta has been the subject of unappealing headlines. While there are times when the details presented seem to tell the truth, there are cases when the material shared is questionable and may tell the truth but not “the whole truth.” For example, some articles that deem to report crime rate or rankings in certain cities, leave out valuable content to justify crime statistics.  In a most recent article, suggesting that their opinion is based in facts and meant as “infotainment”, they inaccurately listed three of our Aerotropolis Atlanta Community Improvement District partner cities as being in the top 10 most dangerous cities in Georgia. After a very careful read, the information presented appears to fully eliminate one constant fact in crime which is math. Let’s look closer.

The FBI produces yearly a Uniform Crime Report or UCR.   The UCR Program’s primary objective is to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management.  A mathematical formula is used to calculate the crime rate.  A crime rate describes the number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies per 100,000 total population. A crime rate is calculated as the number of reported crimes (NRC) divided by the total population (TP) multiplied by 100,000.

NRC / TP x 100,000 = Crime Rate

The FBI gets its data from the local jurisdictions that report crime to them, however, the FBI cautions that the only correlations in this data are population size and student enrollment for this report.  The FBI even cautions users from using this information solely based on population.   Until data users examine all the variables that affect crime in a town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction, they can make no meaningful comparisons.1

Here is an example to understand crime rates better. Using this mathematical formula and only considering population size, the highest crime rate in the world belongs to drum roll please…. THE VATICAN!  Yes, Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world.  The average is 1.5 crimes per citizen2.  The Vatican only has 842 full time residents, but over seven million visitors per year.  If you did the math adding the visitors to the equation, the rate would be remarkably minimal.  The same is true in our CID cities.  The city of Hapeville is home to over 6,300 residents, but boasts a daytime population of over 50,000.3   College Park has a population of roughly 15,000, but the daytime population swells to 770,000.4 

Let’s always remember that crime has a wide spectrum of actions and no matter if it’s a petty theft, assault, cyber hacking or murder, we all are privy to accurate information. Having the complete picture on a problem, is a perfect way to build a solution. To learn more details about crime stats, population, rankings etc… for each city please visit their respective websites.

 

Footnotes:

1 https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/resource-pages/caution-against-ranking/cautionagainstranking

2 https://www.oyster.com/articles/14-secrets-of-vatican-city-revealed/

3 https://www.hapeville.org/index.aspx?nid=87 

4 https://www.collegeparkga.com/departments/economic_development