Mayor Richard Alcombright and Police Director Michael Cozzaglio held a press conference Friday to address the recent rash of violent crime in the city, and it was a wise move: Such upticks in criminal behavior demand heightened attention from the corner office, but this surge also came with a serious dose of fear and speculation circulating on social media.
While the rumor mill has been humming about the stabbing outside the Artery Lounge, the beating at McDonald’s and the knife assault in the area of Porter and Blackinton streets, Friday’s gathering at city hall shed much light for the public on these cases and the way information has to move in order to preserve investigations, even if that can be too slowly sometimes for the public.
One of the key takeaways from the conference is that the recent violence is not victimizing random residents. The people involved know each other. There are histories among the victims and aggressors here. These are not crimes that should leave the average resident fearing it will happen to them.
Furthermore, these peaks in crime happen regularly from a historical perspective, almost in concordance with the seasons. With police work, the activity traditionally returns to a base. Looking at the long-term, there’s no reason to believe the wave won’t recede with the intervention currently happening.
Also, while there hasn’t been an increase in house break-ins recently, according to Mr. Cozzaglio, these crimes still remain "steady." As residents have often been advised, lock your car and house just to be sure. Criminals, many coming from areas other than this one, take advantage of the mentality that one need not lock up around here.
Finally, the Transcript received no small amount of attention recently, with some questioning the time it took for some of this violence to be reported.
We can only reply that we’re in the business of sharing complete stories that give the facts rather than leave room for speculation. Much to our chagrin, gathering that information sometimes takes longer than we or the reader would like.
That said, the next time you hear founded information we haven’t reported, come be a part of the news gathering process -- let us know what you know and we’ll pursue it from there.