Growing up in the Berkshires, I was not exposed to a high or even moderate level of criminal activity in my area; perhaps because of my upbringing, or simply because of the lack of crime that has occurred over the past 15 years in Western Mass.
Luckily, according to the 2012 crime report from the FBI, the Northeast is down 1.2 percent in violent crimes and down 1.7 percent in property crimes since 2011. Additionally, the FBI notes that in Pittsfield alone, property crime was the leading criminal offense in 2012 with 1,166 incidences. While this statistic is not ideal for a relatively small community, it is encouraging to know that now, with a new and intelligent crime analyst at hand, such numbers will start to fall in the coming years as we "get ahead" of the crime.
The idea that cities like Pittsfield can become "hotspots" for crime is a valid reason for law enforcement to station a crime analyst there. However, if criminal activity such as serious property crime continues to other areas of the county, I wonder how beneficial it would be to find even more intelligent, qualified individuals to assist in Ms. O'Connor's work, should trends in local crime continue to be where they are now and move to areas outside of Pittsfield.
But for now, I'm very pleased to see such a young and capable woman taking the reins on a seemingly challenging task, and to be off to a strong start! We need that kind of leadership in our county, our state, and our nation when it comes to tackling crime.
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