The mayoral race in Providence is heating up — both Republican and Democratic candidates are calling out opponents who they say haven’t done enough. Their big concern? Crime.
According to a recent WPRI.com article, the crime reduction plan forwarded by Republican Michael Solomon came under fire from Democrat Brett Smiley, who says that his opponent “has not provided any real leadership on public safety.” Solomon’s campaign manager shot back at Smiley, calling his statement “more sad, empty rhetoric from someone who hasn’t even lived in the city for ten years.”
It’s no secret that Providence has a problem with crime — as noted by Neighborhood Scout, property and violent crimes in Providence are almost double the national median. What’s more, WalletHub rates has the city in last place on their “2014 Best and Worst Places to Retire” list. Ouch.
Solving the Problem
Solomon’s crime plan includes the creation of a new police academy, along with funding more nonviolence training in schools and expanded recreation options for youth to keep them off city streets. Smiley, meanwhile, wants a 10 percent supplemental sales tax on all gun and ammunition sold in the state to pay for urban community non-violence programs. Although over all crime rates in the city have been decreasing for the past few years, public perception and media coverage have kept many residents running scared. So are plans from hopefuls like Solomon and Smiley enough, or is there more work to be done in Providence?
With the city’s population hovering around 180,000 for the last 10 years, it’s not an influx of new criminals causing problems for Providence home and business owners. In many cases, the legacy of mob rule and poor city management contribute to a repeating pattern of thefts, burglaries, and more serious acts of violence.
While the election may cause some shake-up on the campaign trail, there’s no guarantee of success once the spotlight dims and public pressure lessens. Providence business owners can’t rely on promises to keep their property and inventory safe. Instead, it’s worth partnering with a New England alarm company that understands the challenges faced by Rhode Island businesses and that offers a host of services — such as perimeter sensors, glass breakage sensors, vault systems, and video surveillance equipment — to help manage criminal risk.
Ultimately, a new mayor for Providence may be able to make some headway and diminish the reach of city criminals. Real progress, however, rests with business owners and residents willing to invest and actively defend their property.
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