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July 13, 2017

Mobile, Ala. - Today, Mayor Stimpson released the following statement on public safety.

Stimpson said, "Since day one of this administration we have focused on reducing crime in order to fulfill the vision to become the safest city in America. While the numbers will show that the trend is in the right direction, let me be emphatic about something -- your mayor is not satisfied. Even though the past 3 years are the 3 lowest in crime in 4 decades, it's not acceptable. Everyone looking at the crime graph will draw their own conclusion, but let me tell you how I look at it, and why it is not acceptable. That line represents victims of crime. Burned into my brain are many visions of the faces of crime victims and their families. One of the most vivid comes from my very first neighborhood walkabout 3 years ago. It was down a street in what was possibly the highest crime neighborhood in the city. Upon recognizing me and Chief Barber, an elderly lady over 80 years old wheeled her motorized wheelchair to the street. If I recall right, she said everyone called her Momma. After profusely thanking me for coming to her neighborhood, she explained that those coming to the hit house about 4 doors away were essentially holding the neighbors hostage in their own homes. She pleaded with us to do something. I assured her we would. And we did, but that's another story. Over the last 3 years I've walked over 36 neighborhoods, primarily where there had been criminal activity. I was there to listen to the citizens and tell them how to better engage with the police to help us do a better job in protecting them. The victims of crime don't care what the trend is. All they want, and all every citizen really wants is to feel safe, be safe and not to be victimized or harassed. We will continue to do a better job, and the way we will do it is ramp up the intensity of our commitment to the 21st Century Police Model. In essence, the six pillars of the 21st Century Police Model lays out how police go about doing a better job of partnering with law abiding citizens to reduce crime. While there are many aspects of the programs, the three primary areas of focus are on crime prevention, enforcement and rehabilitation and reentry. It begins with intervention programs, like the YES Initiative, to direct our young people away from a life of criminal activity. When it comes to enforcement, our laser like focus is on the criminals, not the communities where they may live. When it comes to rehabilitation and reentry, its programs like SCORE, which give former criminals a real chance at living a law abiding life. In conclusion, over the last three years, we've done a better job of recruiting and training our police officers. We've better equipped them with modern equipment. We're using technology like it has never been used before in programs like Project Shield. It's all about intelligence led policing and working with you that will drive that graph to zero. Neither I nor anyone in my administration will be satisfied until it is. We are grateful for those watchful law abiding citizens who give us information to help us keep your streets and neighborhoods safe. Your watchful eyes can do more than you can imagine. The information you know and share is invaluable. By continuing to work together, we do have the opportunity to be the safest city in America. That's our goal. It's not going to change. And I'm not going to be satisfied until we can claim that title."