The FBI Uniformed Crime Reports provide statistics related to crime trends across the nation. An examination of the trends in cases of murder and negligent homicide in Rhode Island from 2005-2007 provides a glimpse into the state’s needs in the areas of law enforcement personnel serving the state. The ratio of personnel to crime incidents allocated to cities and areas outside of the city limits should remain the same based on the percentages of incidents taking place in these areas seeing only a minor increase in 2006 and returning to 2005 levels in 2007.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniformed Crime Reports provide information on law enforcement and crime trends across the United States. Information on crime trends are provided by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies through the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
Acts of murder and negligent manslaughter are recognized as violent crimes by the FBI reports (FBI.gov, 2006). Rhode Island, the nation’s smallest state, provides an enlightening view of trends related to this crime. In 2007 the state had 19 cases involving this crime, with 18 taking place in cities and only 1 occurring in areas beyond the cities’ boundaries (FBI.gov, 2008). This is a rate of 1.8 per 100,000 residents. Greater numbers of cases were seen in 2006. The state total for this year was 28, with 27 cases within city limits and again only 1 outside of these limits yielding a rate of 2.6 cases per 100,000 residents (FBI.gov, 2007). In 2005 even more cases involving these crimes were seen. The total numbers of cases during this year were 34, 32 of which took place in cities and 2 in areas outside of the cities, giving a rate of 3.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (FBI.gov, 2006).
On the surface, the statistics appear to show that the crimes of murder and negligent manslaughter have declined over the last 3 reporting periods. The total range of cases has moved from 34 to 19...