On October 4, Our America released its “Crime and Safety Impact Report”, which includes research on crime statistics in Tucson. Unfortunately, the data shows an alarming trend.
In 2020, Tucson set a new record for homicides, a record which was shattered in 2021. As the Arizona Daily Star reported in January 2022, “2021 was a record-breaking year for homicides in Tucson, resulting in a tough year for the community as well as those directly affected. According to the Tucson Police Department, the city had 93 homicides last year. The former record was set in 2008 with 79 homicides. In 2020, Tucson recorded 68 homicides, and 2019 had 49 homicides.”
In 2022, Tucson’s homicide numbers were up 12 from the city’s five-year average. Again, the Arizona Daily Star covered the news. “In Tucson, there were 67 homicide cases — some that included multiple fatalities — equating to a total of 75 victims in 2022. Homicides in the city decreased by nine from the year before, but were up 12 from TPD’s five-year average.”
Other crimes were violent, but fortunately did not turn fatal. From 2021 to 2022, nonfatal gun-related crimes in the city increased 19%, to 870. “When Chad Kasmar became Tucson police chief at the end of 2021, he said his department was contending with complicated community issues including an uptick in homicides and increasing overdose deaths, as well as a dwindling police force. A year later, the landscape is similar and perhaps even more complicated. Gun violence, drug misuse and homelessness are on the rise, and Tucson has seen a significant increase in traffic fatalities — an area Kasmar said he intended to prioritize after taking over as chief.”
Pima County, in which Tucson is located, has reportedly also seen a spike in deaths related to domestic violence due to a breakdown in criminal justice. KOLD News reported “A criminal justice breakdown in Pima County has led to an alarming spike in domestic violence deaths. They’re killings that some leaders say could have been prevented. The issue centers on collaboration or the lack of it. The wheels of justice have many components: law enforcement, victim services, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys and the courts. They all have to work together to ensure violent felons committing crimes are not released and free to kill. And if any component is not functioning well, it can slow or stop a crucial process that’s needed to keep the public safe, especially in the case of domestic violence.”
Our America National Director Gabriel Nadales released the following statement:
“The Our America Crime and Safety Impact Report demonstrates what we’ve known for years: crime has gotten significantly worse since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and not only in places like New York and Los Angeles, but also in smaller profile cities like Tucson, Arizona, Henderson, Nevada, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With this report, Our America seeks to show the public that although the headlines on crime might be dominated by larger cities, it’s happening everywhere.
“High crime rates make it considerably more difficult for people to realize the American dream. Sadly, minority communities in particular are the hardest hit by rising crime rates since they tend to disproportionately suffer from crime as it is. It’s incumbent on state and local governments to establish and uphold safe communities for families and businesses to succeed. We hope that this report and its recommended solutions can help foster safer streets and brighter futures for Americans across the country.”