The Growing Threat of the Ferguson Effect

bodyworn-794105_640You can’t talk about the Ferguson effect without being called a racist.

Today, I’m going to risk it.

After the sickening ambush and execution of five police officers in Dallas and now the murder of three officers in Baton Rouge, we can no longer deny the growing effect of events like the Michael Brown riots in Ferguson or the Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore.

This affects everyone as cities across America are becoming less and less safe. And it especially affects people living in lower-income neighborhoods… often good people, just trying to keep their heads down and get by.

This is important information about your safety and security, so please… read on.

In 2015, the largest 56 cities in the nation saw a 17% rise in homicide rates. In some individual cities, murder rates spiked by as much as 60% in a single year! This year, things are looking even worse with a 9% increase in the number of homicides in the first quarter alone.

This all comes from a backlash against law enforcement. For two years now, law enforcement officers have been told they’re bigoted and racist. They’re met with insults and invective while trying to work in higher-crime neighborhoods. They’re assaulted more often and injured more often.

It’s no wonder they’ve backed off proactive policing. And that’s led to an uptick in violent crime.

So what does this mean to you?

To keep you and your loved ones safe—especially if you live in a large city—there are a number of steps you can take.

First, encourage your local police to continue with proactive policing. And advocate for every officer to wear bodycams. These body cameras—when used properly—dramatically reduce complaints against police officers.

Second, develop close ties with your neighbors and community. Look out for each other. And if you see suspicious activity happening in your neighbor, let law enforcement know.

And finally, make sure you’re prepared to defend yourself and your home. Depending on where you live, the options available to you for home- and self-defense will vary. Choose the legal option that you are most comfortable with, and then get some training.

The Ferguson Effect is real and it’s making our streets unsafe. Get familiar with the statistics, so you understand what’s happening in your own community.