East Palo Alto Metropolis Limits – CC 2.0. Richard Mason

When an American makes use of the phrase “homicide capital” to explain a metropolis, it tends to be cities with very unhappy intervals of historical past like Chicago or Los Angeles, however I wager you've by no means heard anybody say East Palo Alto in that sentence. .

In 1992, the homicide fee in East Palo Alto was the very best within the nation, however at present, 31 years later, the speed has dropped considerably.

How important? Attempt 100%.

Now referred to as the most secure metropolis on the peninsula, East Palo Alto is situated on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo County between Palo Alto and the nation's main expertise facilities.

In 1992 there have been 42 murders out of a inhabitants of solely 24,000 folks. The bulk-black metropolis has suffered like black neighborhoods throughout the nation from the crack cocaine epidemic, however after preliminary motion to extend police presence, an all-hands-on-deck method from native nonprofits, faith-based teams, neighborhood watches. organizations, and the few enterprise executives who stayed ultimately noticed the quantity drop to single digits at the same time as drug gross sales continued to flourish.

An modern tactic was by a neighborhood watch kind group referred to as “Simply Us” that frequented road corners and copied the license plates of each automobile that got here to purchase medicine. The police then discovered the proprietor of the automobile, and easily wrote him a powerful letter that permit him know that his automobile was registered in a excessive crime and drug space.

As soon as these letters, the LA Instances experiences, arrived on the desk of a metropolis decide, whose son, because it seems, used the decide's automobile to purchase crack.

“East Palo Alto has all the time been a resilient group. Individuals are actually involved and so they care concerning the group the place they stay,” Sharifa Wilson, town's mayor throughout these troubled years, informed the Instances.

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“The truth that we have been labeled the capital of homicide gave us some consideration that we would have liked, after which we took that spotlight and turned it into one thing constructive,” he added. “In case you give us lemons, we'll make lemonade.”

After 1992, town closed the last decade with just one 12 months the place homicides returned to adolescence, whereas between 2000 and 2023, town averaged about 7 excluding 2005 which was noticeably greater . However each life is treasured, and town has continued to attempt to enhance circumstances for kids in low-income households and to enhance financial alternatives for his or her mother and father.

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Now, 30 years after that deadly capital homicide tag, town has accomplished a whole calendar 12 months and not using a murder.

“We've all the time had at the very least one, and attending to zero is only a monumental achievement for our whole group,” mentioned Police Chief Jeff Liu, who mentioned he despatched a textual content to the whole power on New Yr's Eve to to have fun

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