I read with great interest the article "Despair is up — so why isn't crime?" (Dec. 22 – Contra Costa Times, CA) The so-called experts are "scratching their heads over why crime has ebbed during this recession."

A former Los Angeles police chief gives credit to tracking, analyzing numbers and quick responses.

Richard Rosenfeld, a sociologist who studies crime trends states, "a remarkable decline." He suggests possible explanations include, extended benefits, food stamps and other government-driving economic stimulus "have cushioned and delayed for many people the big blows that comes from a recession."

As a crime and violence prevention consultant for 35 years, it's about time we give credit to the thousands of prevention groups that work tirelessly in communities to educate youth about drugs and empower teens to take charge of their lives. Many neighborhood activists are reaching out to help neighbors stay safe and mentoring to kids on the block.

Gang prevention and civic groups work to create a network of support for kids and give them a sense of belonging. Schools educate youth to stop bully behavior and mentor youth who are struggling. Hotline operators give hurting people a place to be heard and offer counsel.

These are the quiet heroes who don't seek credit but do the hard work of filling the gap created by absentee or abusive parents who don't know how to create a safe, healthy environment for children.

The solution to crime and violence has never been police or government. They have an important role to play, however, crimes occur when families and neighbors are disconnected and youth feel no one cares. Connected neighbors have stopped crime, drug dealers, predators, burglaries and self-destructive behaviors as they work together to create a safe neighborhood.

To continue the decline in crime, the goal of every city must be to get more citizens connected and working to help each other prevent problems before they get out of control.

Author's Bio: 

Mann is a crime and violence prevention consultant at SAFE KIDS NOW! She promotions community TEAMWORK in her new 10-Step Guidebook, “Adopt-A-Block” for groups. Contact her at: safeneighborhoods@gmail.com
Website: www.safekidsnow.com