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Sunday, September 2, 2007


Trenton City police are investigating the death of a Trenton man who was found dead on the street in the early morning Thursday, in what could end up being the city's 18th homicide in 2007, and fourth in the last two weeks.

The victim, Larry Berry, was found in a North Ward alley after he apparently fell from his bicyle, police said. He succumbed to the injuries he sustained late Thursday night at the Helene Fuld hospital in the city.

With the city on pace for a number of homicides near the record pace of 31 set in 2005, it seems that the leadership of the city continues their failing ways at making a significant dent in the small city's crime problem.

Perhaps a program more focused upon dealing with the city's social ills and culture of poverty would be the best way to make a long-term effect on crime in Trenton. The current police action is both reactive, and very expensive, considering a police overtime bill that will be over $10 million in 2007.

Rumors of increased police staffing in the coming months sounds great, but the money left after reducing the overtime bill needs to go to city programs that are crucial to the revival of the city.

Housing inspections could use more inspectors, and increased frequency of inspections through some legislative work by the city's elected representatives. And more apprenticeship or college scholarship programs could also be a worthy use for Trenton funds.

Simply reacting to this crime is like only paying the monthly interest on a large loan and neglecting the principal - the outstanding problem remains, and a black hole of funding continues to suck in funds that could be used more productively elsewhere.

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