<<Home Niagara Falls Reporter Archive>>

Niagara Falls One of the Most Dangerous Cities in America, New Report Concludes

By Mike Hudson

While some say that crime isn't much of a problem here in the Cataract City, a new study concludes Niagara Falls is the 53rd most dangerous city in the entire United States.

The study, released by the website NeighborhoodScout.com, ranks municipalities with populations above 25,000 across the country. Using crime data collected by the FBI from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, the analysis looked at seven offenses including both violent and property offenses. Violent crimes range from homicide and rape to armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

Niagara Falls came in at Number 53, with a bullet. The chances of you becoming the victim of a violent crime here are one in 81.

That's right, one out of every 81 people in the city will be murdered, raped, robbed at gunpoint or severely beaten in Niagara Falls during 2014, despite reassurances from a political leadership that the crime problem is no worse here than it is anywhere else.

For comparison purposes, the chance of being a violent crime victim in New York City is one in 110. Statewide, the chance is one in 246.

And violent crime is only the small part of the picture. When property crimes such as burglary, theft and auto theft are figured in, your odds go way up. At one in 17, it is likely that everyone will know someone a friend or family member who is victimized in the coming year, or become a victim themselves.

The rate of property crime in Niagara Falls is more than double the national average, the report states. And compared to the rest of New York State, where your chance of becoming a crime victim is a relatively sporting one in 52, the city's one in 17 average makes you just want to put up your hands and hand over your wallet.

Nationally, there are about 39 crimes committed each year for each square mile of land, the report states. New York, always a bit edgier than some of the flyover states, sees 47 crimes committed each year for each square mile of space.

But here in Niagara Falls, that number skyrockets to a whopping 213 crimes committed on every square mile each year, meaning that cops could just leave evidence kits at given locations throughout the city and use them over and over again.

While Councilman Bob Anderson has lobbied for years to beef up the police department and put more officers on the streets, Mayor Paul Dyster has instead spent hundreds of thousands on staging concerts for the benefit of the Hard Rock Cafe, subsidizing the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center with an annual beer promotion and putting on a failed Holiday Market designed to get tourists to brave the city's arctic winter to attend a month-long tent -city/shanty town outdoor event.

The mayor's spent hundreds of thousands on a still yet to open museum to the city's Underground Railroad history, an imaginary history made up out of whole cloth, and cost the city hundreds of thousands more due to his inability to find a single qualified city engineer anywhere in the whole United States.

In fact, the nickels and dimes made by the literally thousands of break in artists, stick up men, drug dealers and pimps operating in Niagara Falls amount to a mere pittance when compared to the millions Dyster and his minions have taken from the pockets of city taxpayers and squandered on nonsense.

Much of the story is a matter of simple demographics. Most of those with the skills and education needed to make something of themselves have already left the city, contributing to a decline that has seen the city's population dwindle from 110,000 in 1960 to fewer than 50,000 today.

Those who remain, generally fall into two classes: Those in need of care and those who care for them.

With an unemployment rate several points above the national average and a median family income that falls thousands of dollars below, an inordinate number of households headed up by single mothers and more than half the population collecting welfare or some other form of public assistance, the situation is indeed bleak.

While Dyster prefers to look the other way, pretending to himself and trying to persuade others that Niagara Falls is a dandy little town with nary a problem to solve, it is doubtful he could do anything to reverse the course of history if he had the guts to tackle the problems head on.

Economic conditions along the Niagara Frontier, like those in other Rust Belt hotspots such as Cleveland and Detroit, undoubtedly contribute to the rise in crime and deteriorating moral climate. But it's not the whole story.

The entire south shore of Lake Erie has for decades constituted a laboratory dedicated to testing theories once referred to by President Lyndon Baines Johnson as the "Great Society," a welfare state where residents are constantly reminded that productivity and work have little to do with the ability to get along in life.

Young girls are rewarded with their own apartments and monthly paychecks for the simple act of having babies while the mass media teaches young boys that dealing drugs and sticking up Korean grocery stores is a far better way to generate income than delivering pizzas or shining shoes.

Good neighborhoods fight to hold on, but as desperate times drive some to desperate measures, these crime rates will grow in certain areas.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Dec 31, 2013