St. Louisans should take heart in knowing, as nextSTL's map reveals, that city neighborhood upon city neighborhood are and always have been safe, that broad measures of violent and property crime show a city that has experienced indisputably steady and dramatic reductions in crime in recent years, and that St. Louis has the potential, and I believe is poised, to experience breakthrough reductions of crime.
What, for example, would nextSTL's map and homicide rates look like if displayed homicides were limited to (or excluded) those occurring during late night (or work day or early evening) hours? How would the array and rates appear if they were limited to (or excluded) homicides known to be the product of gang violence, or family or intimate partner violence, or in which there is direct evidence of drug use among all known participants, or in which all known participants had prior criminal convictions, or exclusively involved men between the ages of 18 and 25.Well good. Those are all maps I would look forward to seeing, as they would surely stir up some helpful discussion, as Ihnen's map has already done.
How might such dynamic mapping affect the public's perception of safety and well being and help it organize its own conduct to reduce risks of criminal victimization? How might it inform and affect policy makers' and police and other public safety strategic and tactical approach to law enforcement and crime prevention?
This too is work being undertaken by St. Louis' Public Safety Partnership.