SafeAssign Assignment 1
Name: Camra E. Handy
Directions: Respond to the questions below and submit your paper (to Blackboard under “SafeAssign Assignments” tab) by the due date. It should be submitted as a Word document (be sure to write your name). Each assignment will be checked for plagiarism using SafeAssign software.
1) Describe the crime trends mentioned in the video.
a. Downward trend in property crime and violence—Dr. James Lynch attributed the decrease in property crime and violence to unemployment being low, whereas Dr. Rosenfeld believes that factors such as “inflation” and “consumer confidence” influence criminal behavior.
2) Based on the documentary, do public perceptions align with actual trends in crime?
According to Dr. James Lynch, the public has always believed that crime and the crime rate were always worse than what they are. In 1993, for about 10 years, “there was a tracking of” public perception regarding crime. The tracking showed that, “Fewer members of the public think that crime is going up,” (Lynch) This was in the 1990’s. Now, crime was dropping. However, in the early 2000’s, there was a gap in tracking, and the public began to believe that crime was going up. Dr. Lynch stated that, “traditionally, the public has tended to overrepresent crime; that crime is worse than what it is.” Public perception of crime is not only associated with actual victim experiences, but also with what people see on television, hear on the radio, or read in the newspapers or Internet. Dr. Rosenfeld believes this is why the public’s perception tends to divert from reality. He agrees with Dr. Lynch that in the 1990’s, the reality of crime and the public’s perception were aligned. Dr. Rosenfeld opines that no “one should rely on the local news for accurate data on crime.”
3) Mention the comments of at least one caller. Do you agree with his or her comments about crime? Why or why not?
I chose to comment on the first caller regarding the number of officers killed in the line of duty. Between 2008-2012, a family member was employed in a maximum-security prison. During that time, I inquired about her duties and how she felt working in that environment. One of the conversations we had involved her discussions with inmates and crime. One of the questions she asked them was, “why is it that more police officers are not killed considering many inmates have the means to kill an officer, but instead, kill civilians.”
She told me that the inmates informed her that the jail time associated with killing a police officer was more severe than when killing a civilian. For example, it was easier to appeal or eventually receive parole for killing a civilian, whereas the death penalty was most likely if a law enforcement officer was killed. Many of the criminals never intend to kill anyone, it’s just sometimes one of the “collateral damages” of committing some other criminal act.
At the suggestion of Dr. Lynch, I went to the LEOKA website. The following is what I found: (all data taken from the following: https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2017/topic-pages/felonious_topic_page_-2017)
In 2017, 45 officers were killed in the line of duty. That’s a small number, but accurate according to the FBI.
21 officers died in the line of investigative or enforcement activities:
6 were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances.
6 were involved in tactical situations.
3 were conducting traffic violation stops.
2 were performing investigative activities.
1 was investigating a drug-related matter.
1 was investigating a motor vehicle crash.
1 was conducting a felony traffic stop.
1 was interacting with a wanted person.
6 officers were involved in pursuits.
4 were involved in foot pursuits.
2 were involved in vehicular pursuits.
5 officers were ambushed (entrapment/premeditation).
4 officers were involved in arrest situations.
3 were verbally advising offenders during the arrest situations.
1 was attempting to control/handcuff/restrain the offender(s) during the arrest situation.
3 officers were involved in unprovoked attacks.
2 officers were assisting other law enforcement officers.
1 was deploying or providing equipment such as traffic cones or flares.
1 was assisting another officer with a vehicular pursuit.
2 officers responded to crimes in progress.
1 was a robbery in progress.
1 was a report of a shooting or shots being fired.
1 officer was on administrative assignment and was performing a prisoner transport.
1 officer responded to a disorder/disturbance and encountered a domestic disturbance upon arrival.
1 officer encountered or was assisting an emotionally disturbed person.
Based on this research and that shared by the show’s host, the numbers are different. Whereas she reports there were 50 officers killed, the FBI website shows there were only 45. In the realm of things, reports between media outlets, documented evidence submitted by government offices (ie, FBI) contrast each other. Earlier in the video, there was mention of self-report. Self-report implies subjective opinion. As long as everyone is entitled to an opinion, reality will be skewed.