We all need to cry a giant “boo-hoo” for the Mesa Police Department as it struggles with its worse crisis in 40 years: less crime! What a catastrophe. Oh, the department has weathered many a storm through the years—budget cuts and layoffs, citizens screaming bloody murder over its sanctuary policies, a revolving door of police chiefs using the state’s third largest city as a steppingstone to higher office. But who would have thunk the unthinkable: less crime to fight! Why that’s not fair. It almost makes residents want to hold up a bank or two just to give police some work.
What your Aug. 3 article, “Mesa crime keeps falling,” fails to reveal is that crime has been dropping like a rock since the passage of SB 1070, the trend-setting bill that allows officers to inquire of a suspected person’s legal status. Illegals driving drunk, victimizing neighbors, shooting up the town, have all dwindled since many have fled the scene for greener pastures. Let’s give due where due is deserved.
Not to be outflanked, Mayor Scott Smith to the rescue. In spite of his admission that the drop in crime happened when the public safety budget was slashed, he’s now proposing the restoring of previous staffing levels! That’s right. Smith’s math tells him that since crime plummeted when police enforcement was cut, it just makes sense to increase police ranks and throw more money away now that we have the lowest crime rates since 1963.
But good news is on the way. According to writer Groff, “Mesa arrested 18 percent more suspects in the first half of this year for … homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and vehicle theft.” So, things are looking up at the MPD, and job security is threatening to return, thanks to stalwarts in the city who know how to keep our police busy: crime or no crime.