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December 16, 2004

Arkansas arrests

Police in Fort Smith, Arkansas, have arrested 10 drug suspects whom they say were trafficking in methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine. According to Sgt. Jarrard Copeland, the department's public information officer, "We feel like we were successful in making a dent in the drug trafficking problem in Fort Smith," according to the The Times Record.

The media should be asking Sgt. Copeland why he thinks they made a dent. Why shouldn't we expect that users of meth and other drugs in Fort Smith will just procure them from other dealers who haven't been caught? Isn't that what has always happened in the past?

Letters can be sent to [email protected]. They must include name, address, and phone number and should be no more than 300 words. The Times Record "reserves the right to edit letters for length and interest."

- Dave Borden, DRCNet

Posted by dborden725 at December 16, 2004 12:41 PM


Hi, David ... congrats on your new blog.

There aren't enough stories to fit this comment in neatly on topic yet, but I hope your site will look into the curious disconnect on reporting crime statistics to mask the effects of prohibition.

By this I mean that the widely-reported FBI index is violent and major crimes (murder, robbery, car theft, grand larceny, rape, etc.) and does not include drug crimes, which, as we know are more than half of the crime "pie", including sentencing and ncarceration.

And then when we talk about "stable" or dropping major violent crimes, we ignore the WoD incarceration machine more than picking up the slack.

So why doesn't the FBI index include drug crimes for the purpose of reporting crime trends and stats? It's not like they don't consider it a major, heinous crime by every other measure.

I'm a lurker on a Poynter Institute cops and crimes journos list and I'm gonna come out of lurkdom and ask this question the next time there's one of those FBI crime statistic stories...

Posted by: Jackl at December 17, 2004 04:32 PM

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