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RI’s Most Violent Cities and Towns: New FBI Crime Data

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

 

The 2014 FBI data is out -- see how RI cities and towns ranked.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its 2014 crime statistics this week, estimating the number of violent crimes in the country had dropped by 0.2 percent from 2013 to 2014 -- and reported that in Providence, murders went up from 12 in 2013 to 18 in 2014, while all other categories of the violent crime classification went down in the state's capital city over the previous year.  

Nationally, there were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes in 2014, which include murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. 

In Providence, forcible rapes reported declined from 2013 to 2014 from 97 to 90: for robbery the number dropped from 365 to 289, and aggravated assaults fell from 641 to 530. 

SLIDES:  See the Most Violent Cities and Towns in RI for 2014 BELOW

Teny Gross with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence spoke Tuesday to the role that data plays in addressing crime -- and in his opinion, doesn't play. 

"I think we at the Institute struggle with the feeling that every death is a defeat," said Gross. "The clients we work with and have relationships with, the tragedy of their death hits out staff very hard. In theory we could look at violence like automobile alcohol related death, and keep motivating ourselves, participants and the public for better awareness on methods such as Nonviolence."

"I see people change," continued Gross. "It's a process and it is the encouraging part of our work. I think the police deserve credit for focusing on prevention as well as investigations which send a message that hurting people will be met with consequences and doing that with 20% almost less staff and significantly less overtime.  I also see a tremendous surge in the past few years of community activism, volunteerism and community spirit that is remarkable and simply inspiring (Boo [Hackney], Kobi [Dennis], James Montiero, Ray Watson and many many others)."

"I think the country is forced to look at our own souls on racism, lack of opportunities and inequality," said Gross. "I hope that this national surge will not lead to lip service but true investments."

Using the Data 

Jim Vincent with the Providence NAACP

Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Colonel Steven O'Donnell, who collects the state data to submit to the FBI, said in the urban core, he believes the community policing model is proving to be effective, based on the numbers. 

"I think some of it is the community policing model, getting the State Police involved not for not just enforcement," said O'Donnell. "The neighborhood response teams -- we used to be a 'broken window' model, in that we'd arrest and charge. Now we give many warnings on motor vehicle stops, to humanize the process. Some of it just police doing a good job."

"When the crime numbers go up, it's the police that get blamed," said O'Donnell.  "So we'd love to take credit, but there's a community collaboration and we're much more engaged and hopefully we'll continue to see results."

Jim Vincent with the NAACP Providence Branch said while a number of the violent crime categories have gone down in Providence, he saw the perception of crime the city as a persistent issue. 

"The numbers have gone down?  I think there's a perception that the numbers have gone up," said Vincent.  "There's always  crying out for more community policing.  We understand there are budget constraints and a new class coming in, but we need to get back to that community policing model -- regardless of what those numbers say."

"Any crime is too much crime, and unless it's gone from five million to zero, there's a need to better," said Vincent. 

New Data Reported

FBI Director James Comey said in the report release that there are plans to begin collecting data about non-fatal shootings between law enforcement and civilians, and encouraged all law enforcement agencies to submit their data about fatal shootings and justifiable homicide data, which is currently collected. 

"Once the FBI begins collecting the expanded data, UCR plans to add a special publication that will focus on law enforcement’s use of force in shooting incidents. That report will outline facts about what happened, who was involved, whether there were injuries or deaths, and the circumstances surrounding the incidents," said the FBI in their release 

Explains Comey, “We hope this information will become part of a balanced dialogue in communities and in the media—a dialogue that will help to dispel misperceptions, foster accountability, and promote transparency in how law enforcement personnel relate to the communities they serve.”

In Rhode Island, O'Donnell said that while the FBI's data is predominantly used at the local level, that the State Police have had success in utilizing its own data.

"We map all accidents and where they happen, and we put enforcement in those areas -- if speed's a cause, for instance," said O'Donnell. "[Road fatalities] have gone from in the sixties to low fifties and we hope it gets lower every year. It's the same with violent crimes.  We map it out and put our resources out accordingly."

Addressing Diversity

Earlier in September, O'Donnell attended a national forum on community policing in Michigan with community leader Kobi Dennis.

"You always take away more than you give at those forums," said O'Donnell said of the format.  "We believe that based on talking to the national audience that we're a little above the curve because we're smaller, from sporting leagues to getting out in the community, to doing forums, the recruiting process.  The takeaway from Michigan is to continue to do what we're doing on a grander scale."

Meanwhile, Dennis is focused on an effort called the "Black Major Movement", to get Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza to appoint a veteran black Providence police officer to the rank of Major.  

The NAACP's Vincent, who said he is working with Dennis on the effort, has been vocal on the issue of diversity since the start of the new administration

"Like the crime numbers, we need to deal with this perception, which dovetails for the police to reflect the look of the community," said Vincent. "When the community sees that there's more trust, the police can solve more crime."

"I've been saying this all along, so we've been working on this.  There's precedent for a Mayor to appoint a major.  Both [former Mayors] Cianci and Cicilline appointed two black majors.  Moreover, it's important in terms of recruitment. People need to see there's upward mobility," said Vincent. "They look it as a career, and want to see a career ladder -- and not just be a patrol officer for 20 years."  

 

(Editors Note: An earlier version of the story unintentionally included a photo of a BB Pellet Gun. The image has since been changed.)

 

Related Slideshow: 2014’s Most Violent Cities and Towns in RI According to the FBI

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#38 New Shoreham

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0

2014 Violent Crimes: 0

2014 Population: 1,043

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 0

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#37 North Smithfield

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.24

2014 Violent Crimes: 3

2014 Population: 12,276

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 3

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#36 Barrington

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.24

2014 Violent Crimes: 4

2014 Population: 16,351

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 1

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 3

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#35 Smithfield

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents:  0.279

2014 Violent Crimes:

2014 Population: 21,482

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 4

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#34 Little Compton

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.28

2014 Violent Crimes: 1

2014 Population: 3,518

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 1

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#33 Scituate

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.28

2014 Violent Crimes: 3

2014 Population: 10,497

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 3

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#32 East Greenwich

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.30

2014 Violent Crimes: 4

2014 Population: 13,718

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 1

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#31 Narragansett

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents:  0.31

2014 Violent Crimes: 5

2014 Population: 15,724

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 4

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#30 Jamestown

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.36

2014 Violent Crimes: 2

2014 Population: 5,508

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 2

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#29 Glocester

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.40

2014 Violent Crimes: 4

2014 Population: 9,916

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 0

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 4

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#28 South Kingstown

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.45

2014 Violent Crimes: 14

2014 Population: 30,726

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 4

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 8

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#27 Hopkinton

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.49

2014 Violent Crimes: 4

2014 Population: 8,127

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 1

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 2

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#26 Cumberland

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.52

2014 Violent Crimes: 18

2014 Population: 34,309

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 3

Robbery: 6

Aggravated Assaults: 9

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#25 Bristol

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.53

2014 Violent Crimes: 12

2014 Population: 22,333

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 1

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 11

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#24 Lincoln

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.56

2014 Violent Crimes: 12

2014 Population: 21,425

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 4

Aggravated Assaults: 6

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#23 Charlestown

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.64

2014 Violent Crimes: 5

2014 Population: 7,798

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 2

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#22 Richmond

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.65

2014 Violent Crimes: 5

2014 Population: 7,618

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 3

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 2

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#21 Coventry

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.71

2014 Violent Crimes: 25

2014 Population: 35,053

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 4

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 20

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#20 Portsmouth

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.74

2014 Violent Crimes: 13

2014 Population: 17,449

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 5

Robbery: 1

Aggravated Assaults: 7

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#19 Burrillville

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 0.86

2014 Violent Crimes: 14

2014 Population: 16,198

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 12

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#18 Warwick

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.02

2014 Violent Crimes: 84

2014 Population: 82,123

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 25

Robbery: 10

Aggravated Assaults: 49

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#17 East Providence

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.09

2014 Violent Crimes: 52

2014 Population: 47,351

Murder: 1

Forcible Rape: 12

Robbery: 5

Aggravated Assaults: 34

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#16 Westerly

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.1

2014 Violent Crimes: 25

2014 Population: 22,711

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 6

Robbery: 2

Aggravated Assaults: 17

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#15 North Kingstown

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.1

2014 Violent Crimes: 29

2014 Population: 26,211

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 10

Robbery: 3

Aggravated Assaults: 16

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#14 Middletown

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.17

2014 Violent Crimes: 19

2014 Population: 16,216

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 6

Robbery: 2

Aggravated Assaults: 11

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#13 Tiverton

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.19

2014 Violent Crimes: 15

2014 Population: 15,931

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 3

Aggravated Assaults: 14

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#12 West Greenwich

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.3

2014 Violent Crimes: 8

2014 Population: 6,122

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 2

Robbery: 2

Aggravated Assaults: 4

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#11 Cranston

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.31

2014 Violent Crimes: 106

2014 Population: 80,905

Murder: 1

Forcible Rape: 19

Robbery: 22

Aggravated Assaults: 64

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#10 Johnston

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.43

2014 Violent Crimes: 42

2014 Population: 29,216

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 4

Robbery: 3

Aggravated Assaults: 35

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#9 North Providence

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.51

2014 Violent Crimes: 49

2014 Population: 32,396

Murder: 1

Forcible Rape: 8

Robbery: 6

Aggravated Assaults: 34

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#8 Warren

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 1.51

2014 Violent Crimes: 16

2014 Population: 10,567

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 1

Robbery: 3

Aggravated Assaults: 12

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#7 West Warwick

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 2.1

2014 Violent Crimes: 61

2014 Population: 28,934

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 11

Robbery: 11

Aggravated Assaults: 39

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#6 Foster

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 2.34

2014 Violent Crimes: 11

2014 Population: 4,684

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 4

Robbery: 0

Aggravated Assaults: 7

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#5 Pawtucket

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 2.91

2014 Violent Crimes: 208

2014 Population: 71,443

Murder: 2

Forcible Rape: 42

Robbery: 51

Aggravated Assaults: 113
 

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#4 Newport

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 3.96

2014 Violent Crimes: 95

2014 Population: 23,959

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 15

Robbery: 12

Aggravated Assaults: 68

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#3 Providence

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 5.18

2014 Violent Crimes: 927

2014 Population: 178,640

Murder: 18

Forcible Rape: 90

Robbery: 289

Aggravated Assaults: 530

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#2 Woonsocket

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 5.32

2014 Violent Crimes: 219

2014 Population: 41,140

Murder: 0

Forcible Rape: 27

Robbery: 48

Aggravated Assaults: 144

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#1 Central Falls

Violent Crime Per 1000 residents: 6.87

2014 Violent Crimes: 134

2014 Population: 19,498

Murder: 2

Forcible Rape: 15

Robbery: 37

Aggravated Assaults: 80

 
 

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