Commentary: The Kids Are Alright

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It seems to be that in every major civilization, the older generation believes that the younger generation’s moral depravity will lead to the downfall of civilization. For the most part, that doesn’t really come to pass, although civilizations have of course risen and fallen throughout history.

While the recent murder at KetMoRee has created a lot of consternation in this community, for the most part level heads have prevailed. On the Vanguard, we initially saw some knee-jerk reactions such as the idea of shutting down bars or alcohol sales at 11 pm and/or banning people with facial tattoos.

The data really doesn’t support these kinds of approaches. In fact, when I requested the data for KetMoRee, I expected to find a lot of violent incidents. And yet, over the course of 525 calls for services, it was a very small minority that were serious felonies. A very small minority. The fact is, those felonies would probably have occurred somewhere else if KetMo were shutdown.

Can we close down bars at 11 pm? Perhaps, but the real question is, “Should we?” One of the more interesting comments from the Assistant Chief was that more bars is actually better than fewer bars – because (1) it allows people to get inside off the street to a place where there is more security, and (2) it relieves their stress and anxiety.  The conclusion I draw from the Assistant Chief’s comment is that an 11 pm shut down time would be counterproductive.

Thanks to other initiatives, drinking is already down among UC Davis students. However, I remember staying in Minneapolis when I was in my early 20s, and they had  an early alcohol closure. I remember trying to drive to St. Paul where bars were open an hour later.

I could just imagine the students in Davis driving to Woodland, West Sacramento or Sacramento to do their drinking and then driving back on the freeway to get home. It’s a recipe for more traffic accidents. Besides, do we really want to become a completely college student unfriendly community in the vain hopes of insulating ourselves in some sort of bubble?

It is easy to blame the late night drinking problems on outsiders – it is harder to pinpoint what an outsider looks like. The perpetrators of this alleged murder were indeed from Vacaville, but many college students have have driver’s licenses from all over the state and perhaps further. Is it practical to require a college ID to go along with the driver’s license for an outsider to drink here? Do we want to do that even if we could?

One of the unfortunate things we learned in the last year is that we don’t need to go to outsiders to find dangerous guns and potentially dangerous people. At a public meeting last November, Assistant Chief Pytel talked about the array of weapons found on individuals in this community. He used it to justify the need for an MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle), but I use it to make the point that  Davis is no longer a little bubble insulated from the rest of the world.

The good news is that our crime rate is still far below that of West Sacramento and Woodland. Last year, Assistant Chief Pytel argued that the dynamics of policing have changed since 2010. Felony arrests are up 105 percent. Drug related arrests are up 163 percent since 2010. Robberies are up 27 percent since 2010.

So we’re dealing with more and more crime,” he said.

This week he told me that the calls for service have not suddenly doubled or tripled downtown – it’s always been busy. However, the nature of these incidents has escalated somewhat in the last few years.

We’ve taken more guns and knives off of people arrested in fights downtown,” he said. “We have kind of seen a change regarding escalation in weapons and violence over the past couple of years.”

In addition, I don’t think we should be laying the blame here solely on the doorstep of KetMoRee. They are definitely a higher call for service area (along with G Street Pub and Tres Hermanas), but, as Assistant Chief Pytel said, I can say that all of the officers have told me that the staff that works at KetMoRee does a good job of dealing with the crowds, they handle the incidents inside their bar very well, they call the police anytime they feel it’s necessary.”

He added, We actually tell them to call the police anytime they see anything that even could potentially be a problem.” He said, “They do call frequently, even before they see problems, just to make sure that nothing actually comes up.”

The point, he said, is that when you look at the high volume of calls for service, some of that volume is because we’re telling them to call and they are not necessarily things that they would have called on their own volition.”

Nonetheless Darren Pytel added, We are still with a lot of problems there.”

So is there a solution?

Maybe there isn’t a solution. Maybe we simply need to budget a couple of extra patrol officers, as was discussed back in June during the last budget cycle.

Back in May and June, the city was looking into an item about the potential acquisition of a non-MRAP police protective vehicle (PPV). The projected price range for such a vehicle was said to be between $175,000 to $400,000.

But maybe that is not our biggest need. Back then, Mr. Pytel suggested that putting more people onto the SAFE (Special Assignment and Focused Enforcement) Team, which involves identifying highly prolific criminals, determining with whom they are hanging out, and targeting arrests around those networks – which helps to wipe out part of the problem. Crime goes down in Davis when highly prolific people are nabbed – but it goes back up as they are replaced by other individuals.

While the council had discussed a new School Resource Officer, Darren Pytel didn’t believe that was the biggest need for the city police either.

Instead, hiring about five extra regular patrol officers, which would add about $800,000 to the city budget, would allow the police to have some additional bodies available to the SAFE Team and some extra bodies to patrol the downtown.  That might be a better way to go than simply to take it out on KetMoRee and other popular bars.

There was some talk that perhaps the downtown establishments might flip for that bill, but from my perspective looking into all of this, the bars are more likely a symptom, than a cause, of the changing crime dynamics.

It is better when calmer heads prevail and, in this case, a murder may simply be an isolated tragedy rather than a cause for alarm.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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58 thoughts on “Commentary: The Kids Are Alright”

  1. Biddlin

    +1-” the bars are more likely a symptom of the changing crime dynamics than a cause.”

    Put down the axes and pitchforks, Carrie Nation fans.

    ;>)/

    Can’t sort image posting but here’s a wonderful quote:

  2. Frankly

    My suggestion to ban people with facial tattoos was not meant to be taken seriously except to illustrated the absurdity of somehow preventing the bad people from entering without eliciting cries of racism, bias and profiling from the social justice crusaders.

    That point was more than proven given the reaction.

    the bars are more likely a symptom of the changing crime dynamics than a cause.

    The point I was making.

    But one point is being glossed over here.   All of incidents we are concerned about are human-to-human encounters.  The steady increase in incidents should be expected when there is a steady increase in the number of people encountering each other.

    It is a simple probability calculation.  If there are zero people, then there will be zero encounters and zero risk of conflict that could escalate to violence.  But cram a bunch of people in a smaller place and there will be a statistical increase in the risk for conflict and violence.  And when those people are frustrated having to wait in line for too few and too small venues, then frustrations can boil over.

    Davis has more people and no more retail space.  The downtown is pretty much the same size as it was 40+ years ago, yet the population has about doubled.

    The increased number of incidents is primarily just a factor from the concentration of more humanity in this small two-block area.  We better get used to it.  Adding a couple more cops is a good idea to help prevent escalation of conflict and to capture more of the bad people that would use a weapon, etc.   But there will still likely be more incidents.

      1. Frankly

        Sure there is evidence.  The increase in the number of incidents/calls, and the point made by the Assistant Chief about the stress caused by all the people waiting in line.

        1. Don Shor

          No, there is no evidence for your thesis that lack of peripheral development and the density of the downtown is the cause of bar stabbings. These problems, and the ensuing community discussions, occur in cities of all sizes and all range of growth policies.
          The logical conclusion of the assistant chief’s comments is that we need more bars/nightclubs in downtown, not fewer. Your attempt to link everything to Davis growth policies is specious.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I think most would argue that the bigger the city, the more likely the crime rate is higher. In other words, all things being equal, bigger cities will have a higher crime rate than smaller ones.

        2. Frankly

          Your attempt to link everything to Davis growth policies is specious.

          Your obvious intent to deflect responsibility for the problems caused by your farmland preservation extremism is evident.

          Later I will post the studies that connect increased population density to increased incidents of conflict and violence.  I have them linked on my PC at home.

          But here is a hypothetical for you Don… let’s say UCD is 45,000 students and Davis is 100,000 in population and the downtown commercial area is still the same size.  Are you going to make the case that there would be no increase in incidents?

          Frankly, (because I am), your continued argument against this point is weird.

          1. Don Shor

            farmland preservation extremism

            It’s been fun talking to you. Eventually, the only ones you will be talking to on the Vanguard will be the few people you haven’t typecast and insulted.

        3. Alan Miller

          Frank Lee grabs onto a thesis like a pitbull locks their jaw.  Of course, I’m the same way about the so-called Yolo Rail Relocation.  The difference being, of course, that I’m correct.

        4. Frankly

          It’s been fun talking to you. Eventually, the only ones you will be talking to on the Vanguard will be the few people you haven’t typecast and insulted

          You are one to talk.  Do you want me to go back and list all the personal insults and attacks you have delivered to me just because you get irritated in opposition to the points I make?

          I generally don’t single out people unless they throw the first personal attack or insult.  I focus on group-think-behavior.  And it is very interesting to me the people that take it personal.

          Simple Google searches come up will many articles and studies that agree that increased population density results in more crime and higher costs to keep everyone safe.

          http://www.ncsociology.org/sociationtoday/v21/review2.htm

          Results

              Population growth does not pay for itself.  Ladd finds that “…the major stress on local public spending associated with a surge in population occurs in the capital, not the current, account budget (p. 288).”   However, as density increases, capital outlays also increase.

          The same is true for public safety spending.  Population loss costs money, but so does growth at all levels.  More interesting, population density shows a J-shaped relationship.  Only at very low levels of density are costs high, and decline until population reaches about 250 persons per square mile (see Table 1).   Once the population reaches 250 per square mile any increase in density results in higher per capita costs for public safety.  (As a reference point, Ladd notes that Wake County, North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, has an average density of 414 persons per square mile.)  Regionally spending on public safety is lower in the East, Midwest and South than in the West.

          1. Don Shor

            We’re talking about knife fights in bars. Guess what — they happen in Dixon, too. And other communities. I did a quick Google search and posted a screen capture of the results for a number of communities that are considering or have considered restrictions on late-night alcohol sales due to policing and crime problems. There is no correlation with density or, more specifically as to your persistent claim, with city growth policies or peripheral development. Walnut Creek is not a slow-growth community.
            Why you choose to throw in your canard about “farmland preservation extremism” to a discussion about knife fights in bars, I don’t know. For the record, a farmland preservation extremist wouldn’t support any peripheral commercial development. There have been four proposals for such development, and to date I have supported three of them. So for opposing one, I’m an extremist? You should stop friggin’ insulting people on the Vanguard, stop trying to take everything off topic, and try to keep the discussions germane and evidence-based.

        5. Frankly

          I find this interesting…

          Studies that hypothesized positive correlations between density and crime largely cite three theories: the theory of overcrowding and anti-social behavior (e.g., Lorenz, 1967); the theory of association between density and poverty (e.g., Curtis, 1975), or the theory of increased opportunity for crimes (e.g., Harries, 1974) in densely populated areas. These ideas draw on both environmental and population characteristics in theorizing causal linkages.

          Studies that hypothesized a negative relationship between crime and density (e.g., Shichor, Decker, & O’Brien, 1980) typically did so based on the theory of Jane Jacobs (1961), which holds that crowded streets (especially those with multiple windows facing them) work to inhibit the occurrence of crime as a behavior. This environmental explanation holds that informal neighborhood surveillance prevents crimes from occurring.

          This second hypothesis probably relates to the point Chief Pytel was making that the crowded bars can actually be statistically more safe.

          But the issue isn’t crime, it is stress and conflict that leads to incidents.

          – First, there is simply the conflict of lifestyle… those with a scarcity mindset or wanting a farmland moat… and thinking high density is the way to go.  And then there are those that value some land and space between neighbors.   http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140824/PC16/140819729

          – Second, there is the conflict that occurs simply because there are more people vying for a limited number of spaces available.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636191/

          Really though this is all common sense.

      1. Frankly

        You need to work on your sarcasm detector.

        Serioulsy?

        My point was to illustrate the absurdity of some people making sweeping comments that we can somehow eliminate the bad element by screening them at the door.

        We certainly could be profiling, but not without unfair bias and probably some civil rights violations.  If we really want to prevent these types of incidents, we would make the night clubs female only.

        (note, sarcasm…)

        1. Michelle Millet

          Frankly you provided data to back up your claim that banning people with facial tattoos was a god idea, so forgive of us if we didn’t pick up on your sarcasm.

        2. Frankly

          Frankly you provided data to back up your claim that banning people with facial tattoos was a god idea, so forgive of us if we didn’t pick up on your sarcasm.

          I did not.  I provided a study that backed the point that density increases crime.

          But then maybe you were being sarcastic here.  If so, it is a bit weak.

           

        3. Alan Miller

          sarcasm is difficult via electronic means as it often depends on facial expressions and intonations to convey

          I disagree.  People always know when I’m being sarcastic.

        4. Barack Palin

          Frankly, I got your sarcasm as you can tell from my comments immediately after your first tattoo post.  I really can’t understand why others didn’t get it too, but maybe they purposely chose not to as it was an opportunity to try and ridicule you.

        5. Frankly

          but maybe they purposely chose not to as it was an opportunity to try and ridicule you.

          Maybe that.

          But I think hypersensitivity filters started popping and caused them so much internal noise that they couldn’t even “hear” what I was saying.

          But in the back of my mind I sort of expected it.

          Funny though… business can and does discriminate hiring on tattoos and piercings, etc.  I’m not sure that a business can discriminate on customers for this.  And I’m not sure that it is a good business idea since a lot of young people think tats and piercings are koolio.

          Even the US military has eased up on tats… although no face tats would be accepted.

          But again, my point was to make real the arguments I was reading to get rid of the bad elements… in that there really is no feasible way to do that.

  3. Michelle Millet

    Is it practical to require a college ID to go along with the driver’s license for an outsider to drink here? Do we want to do that even if we could?

    Would this mean that at 42 I’d need to get a fake ID to have drinks with friends at a local college bar? I thought those days were long gone. Oh wait, I’m not an outsider. I would just have to get a fake ID for any visiting friends I want to have have drink with.

  4. ryankelly

    My reaction to the idea of limiting the hours of alcohol sales at downtown bars is very similar to the reaction I had to the establishment of a curfew for youth.  All this would do is push activities away from the downtown and into neighborhood homes.  Instead of going downtown, more gatherings would happen at houses and apartments, which is already an irritation, and without the benefits of limiting underage drinking and security guys.  This is not a good idea and I wouldn’t support it.  I agree that we need more places for people to go, not less, and reduce the lines outside of places.

    The articles that Don cites are talking about late night alcohol sales – after 2:00 am.

  5. Anon

    The point, he said, is that when you look at the high volume of calls for service, some of that volume is because “we’re telling them to call and they are not necessarily things that they would have called on their own volition.”

    Nonetheless Darren Pytel added, “We are still with a lot of problems there.

    I was talking to a downtown businessman last evening.  His comment was KetMoRee is the biggest problem in town in regard to violence, lacking sufficient security staff to deal with the nightclub crowd they have created.  This is not the first time I have heard from people in the know this abysmal assessment of how KetMoRee operates.

    Secondly, my purse is now checked for weapons every time I enter a movie theater in downtown Davis.  At the airport I am essentially strip searched for weapons.  If I can go through all of that, then I have no problem with Davis nightclub patrons having to pass through metal detectors or be wanded for weapons. My hope is that ABC, the City Council, the Davis Police Dept. and establishments downtown that serve liquor will put their heads together and get creative about making the downtown safer at night.  If the city can tone down Picnic Day, and the Whole Earth Festival, they can do the same for Davis’s nightclub scene.

    Thirdly, if KetMoRee doesn’t make some outward changes to the way they conduct their establishment turned nightclub to ensure the safety of their customers, they won’t be getting my business.  And I doubt that I am alone in this.

        1. Frankly

          Thanks for that AM.

          I agree that I have a bias against horrible techno music.  In fact, I have a bias against all horrible music.

          What about good techno music?

          I think techno music also can be a misunderstood music genre victim.

      1. Davis Progressive

        or different people have different perceptions.  but i know people involved in the music scene who think ket is well run.  and if you look at the list of offenses, most is nuissance issues that will arise from having lots of people there.

    1. Alan Miller

      For a really entertaining time, read all the one-star reviews of Ket Mo Ree on Yelp, they are hilarious.  Ket Mo Ree and Tres Hermanos both average three stars, not too impressive.  Perhaps if they weren’t mediocre food establishments they wouldn’t have to rely on alcohol sales that cause behavior that seriously impacts the community.  The preceeding theory is way more sensical than Frank Lee’s peripheral-business-will-reduce-density-of-people-which-will-reduce-violence-because-good-restaurants-won’t-have-to-do-the-nightclub-thing-anymore twistoid theory.

      1. Barack Palin

        I’m always leery of reviews.  First of all usually only highly pissed off customers even bother to write one and secondly the competition can write bad ones to try and hurt another business.

        Most people don’t bother to write a review if they had a pleasant experience.

  6. Tia Will

    Frankly

    But the issue isn’t crime, it is stress and conflict that leads to incidents.”

    I disagree that the issue is not crime. Stress and conflict are ubiquitous in the human experience. Most of us develop other more constructive ways to deal with these sources of discomfort in our life. Neither stress nor conflict is a serious issue until someone loses control and/or deliberately crosses the line into violent and/or illegal activity ( aka crime).

     

    1. Frankly

      I did not make my point well enough.

      I don’t think this topic is about an increase in crime in Davis.  Yes murder is a crime, but this was a bar fight that ended up with one person dead.  It was not a premeditated murder.  And we don’t know the facts yet.  I’m sure the defendant is going to make the case of self-defense.

      I see the topic as being more about the increase in fights. The increase in violent incidents that the cops are called on.  But fighting is not a crime per se.   In fact, it is a sport.

      I agree that stress and conflict are ubiquitous in the human experience.  And I am not making any excuses for those that don’t cope with it well enough and behave badly.

      But when we see an increase in humanity crowded together, there is always going to be an corresponding increase in probability that some people will not cope well and get into a fight.

      You had two kids right?  Assuming they are close in age, consider the two of them together in a close confined space over a period of time. Now consider them in a large room where each has their own space.  In which of these two scenarios would you expect more conflict?

      Common sense.

  7. Alan Miller

    while police say the number of calls for service have not increased dramatically, “what we are seeing is an increase in the level of violence,” — (In Davis Enterprise)

    The kids are alright, except for those that are violent.

  8. Tia Will

    Frankly

    But fighting is not a crime per se.   In fact, it is a sport.”

    Sorry, but I don’t think that you are improving your case. Fighting is a sport when done in a ring. Fighting in a nightclub is a crime whether the weapons are fists, or knives or guns. No “common sense” needed. That is the law.

     

     

    1. Frankly

      Do you mean assault, disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace?  There nothing that I can find that says fighting is breaking the law.  Otherwise you and I might have to do time!

      But this is just twaddlizing the topic.

      Please stick to my point about density causing more agitation and increasing the probability of conflict.  It seems you are deflecting.

        1. hpierce

          Yeah, frankly there are still polar bears, but they hang out in Antarctica during the NA summer, and the penguins are really pissed off!  Heard they are planning a protest march, and they reportedly got Morgan Freeman to report/narrate it.  Possible TV/movie…

          Might debut right after “Mr Boehner Goes to (leaves?) Washington”.

          Rumor is Boehner confessed to the Pope, and is now doing his ‘penance’.

  9. ryankelly

    I read in The Enterprise that the owners of Ket Mo Ree are expanding their restaurant, Red Noodle 88, across the street, taking over 1/2 the space of Ground Zero .  I wonder if they are going to duplicate the arrangement that they have at Ket Mo Ree – restaurant during the early evening, nightclub later.

      1. Tia Will

        ryan kelly and Frankly

        “….that the owners of Ket Mo Ree are expanding their restaurant”

        If this information is correct, it does not sound like the actions of a restaurant struggling to hang on which would likely close without it’s nightclub profits. It sounds more like an actively expanding enterprise. Now I have nothing against expanding businesses but do feel that it somewhat undermines the nightclub or fail argument that Frankly has been expounding.

        Oops. Upon reading further, I see that Alan beat me to it.

  10. Alan Miller

    the owners of Ket Mo Ree are expanding their restaurant, Red Noodle 88, across the street, taking over 1/2 the space of Ground Zero .

    That’s impossible!  They are a struggling business that can’t survive without the nightclub scene.  They couldn’t possibly have the mega-profit, monetary capital to expand . . . not in the dense, too-high-rent, district of downtown Davis.  Now, if we had peripheral business parks with other destinations for students to go to so that they weren’t all squished together in one small place, causing violence, I could understand why they would have money to expand, but, the poor bar, the poor bar, the owners can barely spare enough food from their kitchen to feed their family, how could they possibly have capital money for expansion?  It’s just not possible!

    1. Frankly

      Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!  What a hoot!  Are you here all week?

      Note that more sq ft improves economies of scale and allows a restaurant to make a profit.

      Since you don’t eat there… and you certainly don’t join the night club gigs since you don’t like the thumpa, thumpa, thumpa… you probably don’t get that the dance floor and bar area are really quite small.

      It would be interesting to have the chamber do a general summary of business expenses and sales for average restaurants in Davis.  Tucos and Little Prague are two bits of evidence that mega-profits are non-existant or few and far between.

  11. TrueBlueDevil

    Like many articles here, this is all over the place with assumptions, foggy thinking, and speculation.

    True, the sky is not falling, but I would not go so far as to say “the kids are alright”. Parents have abandoned their traditional roles, and kids are lost. Gangs have multiplied, young people send naked pictures of themselves to total strangers in the newest evolution of sexual freedom (stupidity), and their brains and social skills and manner have been sucked into a little gadget.

    The fact that the KetMo felonies (i.e. murder and gang enhancements) could have occurred somewhere else is irrelevant. How many murders are we willing to accept before we consider changes? One per five years, one per year, one per quarter? Would we rather encourage this Neanderthal behavior, or discourage it?

    Closing bars at 11 PM is only one possible approach. Why not well publicized DUI checkpoints Thursday – Friday – Saturday nights to tame the “dark element” that no one wants to talk about or identify?

    Do you have proof that certain “initiatives” have decreased drinking at Davis? Or could it be a changing demographic (more Asian and international students) and an increase in pot smoking? Every kid carring a $500 phone and a $1,000 or $2,000 laptop / kindle / etc. doesn’t help.

    David wrote: “It is easy to blame the late night drinking problems on outsiders – it is harder to pinpoint what an outsider looks like. The perpetrators of this alleged murder were indeed from Vacaville, but many college students have have driver’s licenses from all over the state and perhaps further. Is it practical to require a college ID to go along with the driver’s license for an outsider to drink here?”

    This makes no sense. UCD students from Sacramento didn’t bring a knife to a college party and use it, three possible gang bangers with long rap sheets from outside the city did. Is this multicultural thinking: “we’re all the same”? Not really.

    So why is there more crime in Davis, and why is it more violent? We could compare crime demographics from 2000 and 2004 to 2014 to find out if any geographic or demographic items stick out. I’ve been told by one long-time campus employee that crime is up in town, and “outsiders” may see UCD students as easy targets. There may also be a racial component that mirrors some other urban areas: I’m told that asian students may be seen as easy marks (complaint, rich), and that assailants may often be black or brown. I was only forwarded one campus email (and DEnt article) which supported this thesis.

    I read an online review were KetMo is seen by some as the last place to stop before the crawl home. Is this part of the problem?

    David wrote: “Crime goes down in Davis when highly prolific people are nabbed – but it goes back up as they are replaced by other individuals.” But it sounds like Davis people are reluctant to identify groups that represent disproportional risks.

    “changing crime dynamic” – there we go again, hinting at a new “dynamic”, but not identifying it. Are facts or trends being hidden from us?

    I guess it will be an “isolated tragedy” until it hits one of our families, or until we have another late-night murder or savage attack that hits the press.

    We need more information, more possible trends, etc., to have any idea of the larger picture.

  12. Tia Will

    TBD

    I strongly agree with two of your points

    ”this is all over the place with assumptions, foggy thinking, and speculation.

    We need more information, more possible trends, etc., to have any idea of the larger picture.

    The first comment is true with regard to both article and comments ( mine included) and I am ok with that since the Vanguard is intended as a forum for the expression and sharing of ideas and not as a blueprint for community or societal design.

    However, I agree that it is good to call out “foggy thinking” when it occurs. And so I would like to point out what I see as “foggy thinking and speculation in your comment.

    1. “Parents have abandoned their traditional roles”.

    Well, some have, and some have not. I believe that you are alluding to the American version of the  nuclear family, which is a bit of a utopian iconic myth and historical revisionism. I am sure that there were some Father Knows Best families that worked well. I am sure that many other families never met this model. A much more common pattern was the extended family in which both parents worked either in outside paying jobs, or in a family business or farm and the kids were supervised by grandparents, older sibs, or were simply supervised by their parents on the job since they were out there working with their parents because their labor was needed for the financial survival of the family. This of course had the unfortunate disadvantage of curtailing their educational opportunities early thus limiting their lifetime prospects for economic advancement.

    2. “Gangs have multiplied”

    True as currently defined. But ignores the fact that this kind of organized or semi – organized criminal behavior has been with us throughout my entire lifetime and probably throughout the existence of humanity. I can remember, in the exclusively white, religiously homogenous town in which I was raised, being advised by my mother to avoid a certain neighborhood because that was where the “roughnecks”, or “hooligans” as she then called them, hung out. Yes, even our little town of 2,000 had its local gang of miscreants and petty criminals complete with theft, property crimes, physical fights, and maybe a knifing or two when folks got really drunk. Of course the country was not at that time ( 1950’s) awash in guns and thus lacked the means to escalate from fists to knives to drive by shootings easily.

    3. “I’ve been told by one long-time campus employee that crime is up in town, and “outsiders” may see UCD students as easy targets. There may also be a racial component that mirrors some other urban areas: I’m told that asian students may be seen as easy marks (complaint, rich), and that assailants may often be black or brown. I was only forwarded one campus email (and DEnt article) which supported this thesis.”

    This paragraph is as packed with assumptions and speculation as anything that David has written on the topic. I agree that speculations such as these are useless regardless of the author. And you throw in stereotypes thereby upping the ante on speculative reasoning.

    4. “it sounds like Davis people are reluctant to identify groups that represent disproportional risks.”

    If by “Davis people” you mean  the general public and/or posters on the Vanguard, then I think that a reluctance to “identify groups” using stereotypes such as you posted above is the right approach. If you mean by “Davis people” the police acting on information from their actual complaints, detentions and arrests data, or the City leadership provided with such data by the police, then I think that they should be open to identification of both high risk individuals and high risk groups.

    So coming back to your initial comment We need more information, more possible trends, etc., to have any idea of the larger picture.”

    I could not agree more. And this information should be based on facts and carefully reviewed evidence as compiled by the authorities, evidence based experts on urban violence and city leadership, not by the opinions and speculations of any single author or commenter.

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