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Steal This List

by on April 24, 2012

The Bills draft in the top half every year as a reflection of their deplorable attempts to play football. Similarly, their home region is high on a list for the wrong reasons, namely the propensity of some residents to legally misbehave.

There’s quite a bit too much criminality in Western New York’s two most prominent municipalities. The biggest news that there’s anything left to steal in the sunken areas:

Western New York cities are often ranked for their beauty, the number of tourist attractions, and as some of the best places to live. Niagara Falls and Buffalo are also on a list neither city wants to be on.

The start of the 2012 Western New York tourism season is just around the corner, but there’s one Massachusetts based website called “” that just listed both Niagara Falls, and Buffalo as two of the Top 100 “Most Dangerous Cities” in the country. Niagara Falls is listed as 51st, and Buffalo at 35th on the list.

That list is not going in the region’s scrapbook. The Queen City’s quasi-king responded by feigning ignorance, which isn’t a hard trick for him to make appear convincing. He also points out that this study was from way back in 2010:

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told 2 On Your Side he was not familiar with this particular list, or how they came up with their conclusions.

“It comes from 2010. I can tell you that crime is down overall,” said Mayor Brown.

Mayor Paul Dyster had a similar comment saying, “They used 2010 figures and 2010 was a bad year for us for crime here in the city of Niagara Falls. We’ve shown a consistent drop in crime since 2010.”

That was also the last year that statistics were available. But it’s the fault of the ranking publisher for disregarding how Niagara Falls has turned into an earthly paradise over the past couple of months even if you’re not near the renowned area where water falls off a cliff. And they’re going to make it even rosier with their magic mayoral words:

Both city leaders say they will continue to make sure residents are protected despite what’s on that list of rankings.

“We take public safety very seriously. We’ve added officers, we’ve added surveillance cameras, we’ve added new operators. We work closely with the community, and our violence prevention organizations,” said Mayor Brown.

A little bland public relations pitch from the city’s chief officer might be expected when confronted with such negative news. But his reflex can’t hide the reflection of woeful circumstances embodied by rampant crime.

The findings of an outside party that has no apparent ax to grind with Western New York say many things about the area, none of them pleasant. The persistently high felony rate is sadly consistent with how incompetently Buffalo and Niagara Falls have each been run.

Crime reduction would involve removing the sense of entitlement bestowed by an omnipresent government. But making people responsible for their actions would lead to politicians making fewer decisions for us. Then, our leaders couldn’t prove how useful they are.

By coincidence, nobody can remember the last time either city was led by someone genuinely interested in establishing order. Law enforcement is one of government’s few proper functions, and it’s also coincidentally the one eschewed by fans of intervention in everything else.

The big-spending push creates a dire financial climate which is then used to excuse crime spikes that can only be solved by more communal spending. The nicest way to classify their belief system is as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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