City’s low homicide rate a recruiting tool
When city officials recruit people coming to this area as a result of military base closings elsewhere, there's no doubt they will tout the low homicide rate as a reason to live in Decatur.
The city made it through 11 months without a homicide this year, which is highly unusual.
Department heads might say they got lucky for most of the year but that's only part of the reason for the good news.
Two factors might have played significant roles: The department has a good clearance rate on robberies; The department tracks every reported case of domestic violence.
That old saying about preferring to be lucky than to be good might apply to the department's low homicide rate. Yet clearing robbery cases cuts down on criminals continuing to prey on the public.
On domestic abuse cases, the department strongly encourages victims to either get out of the situation or to prosecute the person who attacked them. Many take the advice.
People want to feel safe in their community. One way is to know that their police department is aggressively doing what it can to prevent crime.
The department should be proud of its homicide record, even while mourning the death of Ebonie L. Garth, who apparently was the victim of domestic violence.