Maeve Powlick, a young woman with a Ph.D. in economics, made a presentation at the Police Committee meeting on Monday night. She works with Candace LaRue and Associates, the group that wrote the successful application for Hudson's Promise Neighborhood planning grant. She was at the meeting to tell about the City of Hudson's recently submitted application for a Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program grant and to share some rather startling statistics.
Powlick explained that the purpose of the Byrne grant is to help communities "reduce crime by building community assets." Some of the assets mentioned were social, developmental, commercial, recreational. Powlick talked about the need to understand "what is driving crime in Hudson" and to define the characteristics of the people committing crimes. She described the Byrne project as an "economic development grant that insists that the most vulnerable segment of the population is not left out."
The grant application requires that a target neighborhood be identified that is the "hot spot of crime." In Hudson, that hot spot has been identified as the Second and Fourth wards--nearly half the city. Powlick's presentation included a chart similar to this one, comparing crime in the target neighborhood with the rest of Hudson.
Powlick defined Part 1 crimes as "theft, rape, murder, aggravated assault, burglary, and robbery." "Drug arrests and harassment" were mentioned as Part 2 crimes. Although there is a marked difference between the number of Part 2 crimes committed in the target area as compared with the rest of the city, the difference in Part 1 crimes is not that dramatic. According to Powlick, the number of crimes per 1,000 residents is significantly higher all over Hudson than it is in the target area of Yonkers. The rate of crime in the target area of Yonkers is less than half what the rate of crime is in Hudson's target area. Powlick more than once described Hudson as "a small city with big city problems."
Powlick also presented statistics about the types of crime committed in Hudson, which may provide some insight into why there is not a significant difference between the rate of Part 1 crimes in the target area and the rest of the city. Theft represents 83 percent of the crimes, aggravated assault 11 percent, rape 1 percent, strangulation 1 percent, arson 2 percent, and other 2 percent. No information was provided about the nature of the crimes categorized as "other."
The Byrne grant, if awarded, is $1 million over three years. The first year will involve planning and research, the next two years implementation. The grant application was submitted at the beginning of June, and Powlick hopes to know the outcome by the end of the summer because the program is meant to start in October.