In nearly any neighborhood in America, four homicides in two weeks would be cause for serious alarm. Even Detroit, on pace for 400 murders this year, would have to raise red flags if an individual neighborhood reported those sorts of numbers. So why is Las Vegas’ most famous street any different? And why is the local populace not up in arms about a series of murders right in the heart of our city’s money maker? The Strip is likely as safe as any place that sees nearly 40 million tourists a year, flows heavy with booze and encourages outrageous behavior. Perhaps its even safer today, thanks to an additional 100 officers patrolling the 5.6-mile-long area in the wake of the murders. But the brutality of the deaths cannot be ignored—three stabbings and a fatal punch thrown in an alleged racial dispute—indeed, they pose a threat to our whole town’s well-being. Make no mistake, people, the Strip is still our lifeblood. If it dries up, so does just about everything else. So, it’s time to get pissed about staffing cuts to areas such as law enforcement, and it’s time to realize that, without tax increases to staff permanent Strip officers, this problem is only likely to get worse.
Wed, Aug 3, 2011 (3:05 p.m.)