SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking along University Avenue, looking unsuccessfully for “white supremacist” graffiti. Distracted, he misses Avery LIBRELLE, who is roaming the streets with a cell phone, reporting people who aren’t socially-distanced enough to the governor’s snitch line. They nearly run into each other.
BERG: Uh, hey, Avery…
LIBRELLE: It’s time for cities to de-fund the police!
BERG: Huh. Seems…illl-advised.
LIBRELLE: It’s high time we did it! It’s the only way to cure systemic racism.
BERG: Right. And deaths from house fires will stop when cities abolish fire departments.
LIBRELLE: We’ll come back to that.
BERG: Huh. Hey, what could go wrong?
LIBRELLE: Camden, New Jersey did it! In 2012! And guess what, Merg? Crime fell!
BERG: Yep. It “fell” because in 2012, it was literally the most dangerous city in the US, of any size. A city of about 77,000 people in 2010 – about the size of Fargo or Duluth – it had 69 homicides. You do the math…
BERG: Sorry, my bad. I’ll do the math. That’s a homicide rate well over 100 per 100,000 – triple that of Detroit.
LIBRELLE: And guess what, Merg? Crime has fallen!
BERG: Along with the entire rest of the US. And it’s “fallen” to 31 per 100,000. Which is, if it were a city over 200,000, would make it the fifth most dangerous city in the US, after Saint Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It’d be tied with Kansas City.
And they do all that magic with a “re-organized” police force double the size of the old one .
LIBRELLE: (Has become distracted) Hey – is that a white supremacist I see over there? With an assault rifle?
BERG: It’s a city road crew worker with a jackhammer.
LIBRELLE: I”d better see what Vox.com says about it…
BERG: Er…about crime?
(But LiIBRELLE has wandered away already)