Friday, July 10, 2009


“Crime Rate Plunges 30%.” Man, if you’re the police chief, that’s a headline you want to own. And that’s exactly what Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair did, folding that headline-worthy stat into a media event this week announcing the extension of provincial funding for a community policing program which Blair says is responsible for taking the bite outta crime. Yes, there have been spikes in select areas like, say, murders and shootings, but the city’s overall major crime rate is down significantly compared to last year. Also, Toronto’s crime decline is pretty much consistent with what is being experienced in major centres across North America, and there are numerous theories about what’s behind it, from a generally aging population to locking up more bad guys. No matter. There’s no proof as to what’s NOT working, so Blair was very savvy in pointing to procedural changes made on his watch, timed to the flow of more provincial funding to keep it going. Great spin on a great story by a savvy communicator. Touchdown.

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