Crime continues to take a beating in the city of Bessemer, as reported in The Birmingham Times.
Major crimes in the city dropped another eight percent in 2013 compared to 2012. It marked the third straight year Bessemer Police have recorded a decrease in major crimes in the city.
There has been a 25 percent reduction in major crimes in Bessemer since 2011.
“This is a direct result of the department adding additional personnel and the re-launch of the Special Operations/BASE Unit,” Mayor Kenneth Gulley said.
“Over the past three years we have hired, trained and put on the streets 33 new police officers and 15 within the last year.”
According to Bessemer Police records, since 2010:
The police department seized 111 illegal firearms in 2013. In two years, the department has seized 254 illegal firearms.
Gulley said there is still much work to be done, but he criticized reports which rank the city as one of the deadliest in the nation. Gulley said it is wrong to compare Bessemer to larger cities.
“I think this is wrong and unfair,” he said.
The FBI cautions against ranking cities based on crime data because: “they lead to a simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents.”
The US Conference of Mayors, the American Society of Criminology and various criminologists have chimed in as well by condemning the use of stats to rank cities.
The executive board of the American Society of Criminology has gone so far as to call the rankings an “irresponsible misuse of data.”
Bessemer police have also said such rankings are fundamentally flawed.
The city of Bessemer will host the First Annual Unity Day Event on Feb. 28, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Bessemer Public Library.
The event is free and open to the public.
The City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Mar. 13, 2013, officially designating Unity Day to be celebrated every year on the last day of February.
The resolution read in part:
"The City of Bessemer has as its objective the promotion, appreciation and celebration of the contributions of all people and communities of the City of Bessemer towards building a more cohesive community...
Speaking at the Bessemer Civic Center on Monday, Jan. 27, Gulley said tough decisions made by the City Council and himself early in his term have opened the door for great progress in the city.
The new voting district maps have been adopted by the City Council and made available on this website.
The voting maps are available for download by going to the City Council portion of the website, under City Government and under individual City Council bios. Maps are available for the entire city and by individual council districts.