Providence Police say crime in the city fell four percent last year. The news comes as detectives investigate the capital city’s first murder of the year. Twenty-year-old Wesley Smith was gunned down Wednesday night on Dudley Street in south Providence.
Both burglaries and robberies fell by double digits, continuing a 20-year trend.
There were five more murders last year than there were in 2011. But Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says even the higher number is consistent with the city’s 20 year average of 20 murders per year.
Law enforcement officials have tried without success for years to make Rhode Island’s gun laws more stringent. They say tougher laws would help to deter gun-related violence. Now, in the aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the question remains whether Rhode Island will beef up its gun laws. For starters, gun control supporters will have to overcome powerful opposition from the National Rifle Association.
The carnage of gun violence has marred summer all across America. RIPR Political analyst Scott MacKay says Rhode Island lawmakers can offer a helping hand.
From the Rocky Mountains to New England’s craggy coast, each week brings another desultory report of lives cut short by murder. You can’t flick on a television news spot these days without another incident in the blur of senseless killing.