What’s Good About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Figures

Stephen Ames Berry

The most recently available crime figures for Herkimer are horrible.  Neighborhood Scout’s December 2018 report, assigned Herkimer a crime rating a 4, meaning that 96% of all US communities are safer than Herkimer. Chicago is safer than Herkimer

Herkimer’s violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation… In Herkimer, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is one in 134…Of property crime, one in 21. [Also one of the highest in the nation.]

Neighborhood Scout’s most recent figures don’t just regurgitate the FBI’s semiannual  figures. They analyze data sourced from communities, and drill down, identifying each crime by geolocation code.

 The most unsafe area of Herkimer, for example, is shown as the south of Herkimer Village, where we live.  Looking at this blog’s crime postings and YouTube channel, you’ll see how accurate that report is: All of our 100+ videos of Herkimer crime were taken within 40 meters of our home.

The Good News About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Statistics

The good news about Herkimer’s bad crime stats is that they’re realistic. Had we seen such grim figures before buying a house in Herkimer 5 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this–we’d have bought that nice two-family in nearby Little Falls, and I’d be finishing my long-neglected technothriller sequel. Little Falls doesn’t seem to have much of a gang presence. Here we’ve long had a gang entrenched next door, still enjoying diplomatic immunity.

 Only through hard won experience did we learn the crime figures were low because the police only made a few token arrests. If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars. It’s this misfeasance that made Herkimer a haven for  drug and child trafficking gangs and its streets unsafe for the law-abiding.

Herkimer crime a visual motif
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer “If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars.”

Herkimer No Longer Suppresses Crime Reports

It’s hard to resolve a problem without acknowledging it. Crime is now reported in Herkimer and arrests made, as reflected in these crime figures.  Last year saw some previously well-protected gang members arrested, notably the Joyce Barton gang’s vicious Shianne Hill, for assaulting a neighborhood grandmother. (Hill’s serving a year’s probation.)

Shianne Hill About to attack eldeerly woman
Herkimer’s Shianne Hill moving to attack neighboring grandma.

Crime Statistics a Lagging Indicator

Crime statistics are always a lagging indicator. Current dynamics hint that life is growing less perilous here in Herkimer.  Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.   Poison gas attacks have stopped for now. And home sales are doing quite well. 

Joyce Barton Herkimer gang
“Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.” Joyce Barton of Herkimer’s Barton Gang, sending a little love our way.
“Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile.” Stanley Sykes of Herkimer’s Sykes Gang sending a little love our way.

Climate Change Boosts Herkimer Real Estate Sales

I want to believe that Herkimer’s apparent crime crack down’s due to a sudden epiphany. But frankly it’s probably because the feds and the state are leaning on Herkimer. New York’s neglected Upstate has been widely identified as an ideal climate change sanctuary area, with Herkimer County predicted to boom as much of the US struggles to cope with escalating  climate change devastation. 

We in Herkimer and Upstate are sitting on some of the most valuable future real estate in US. The Gulf Coast and the Atlantic seaboard are rapidly losing their allure as retirement havens as massive storms increasingly batter the region amid rising seas, spreading homelessness and misery. New York City’s future is one of rising waters and shrinking land. Half of New York’s people  live in the state’s maritime counties. There’s no central national planning for climate change mitigation or relocation.  We aren’t the only ones who know this.

Herkimer area home sales and prices continue rising as eyes and interest  increasingly turn north, reflecting the region’s limited housing stock and a growing number of buyers. The median sale price rise for Herkimer real estate rose 7.2% in 2018 and is projected to almost double in 2019, to 13.3%, according to Zillow. Given the emerging dynamics of climate change migration, Herkimer real estate sale price should continue to rise.

Where Have All The Bodies Gone? (Redux)

Interestingly there are still no murders reported for Herkimer. This is very odd. Statistically, Herkimer should have murders, given its violent crime rate. We argued in our post Where Have All the Bodies Gone?  that Herkimer does have murders, they’re just  well concealed.  Opioids would be the least messy way to accomplish that, given the region’s opioid crisis.

Crime Widespread in the Mohawk Valley

Not just Herkimer is dangerous. So is much of the Mohawk Valley. Neighborhood Scout gives Utica a crime rank of 9. Little Falls ranks 14. Surprisingly, our neighboring village of Mohawk is a seeming paradise, according to its crime figures.

Village of Mohawk a Law Abiding Paradise?

Mohawk, adjacent to Herkimer and Little Falls, has a crime rating of 92. It doesn’t get much better. I’m a bit skeptical about that as Joseph Malone is the Mohawk Police Chief. When we moved here, he was also the Herkimer police chief. In May of 2016 Malone resigned as Herkimer police chief in the teeth of an ethics investigation. He was replaced by Chief Joseph Jory, who is apparently not arrest shy. So is Mohawk really all that safe? 

Escalating real estate sale prices may decrease crime rates

As real estate prices rise, crime drops. We saw this happen in Boston as tech firm workers bumped up sales prices, sparking a city-wide real estate boom. We did well  buying older  houses in marginal areas and renovating them. Criminals could no longer  afford to live in transitioned areas and were mostly gone after a few years. The same dynamics are emerging in Herkimer. Median monthly rents are now $900, up from $700 a few months ago.  Herkimer’s legacy gangs live in and traffic out of rented houses whose owners will sell out when the price is right. And that time seems close at hand. The Herkimer Post will continue greasing their skids.

We’re hoping next year’s Herkimer crime report, reflecting 2018, will show significant improvement as a result of better law enforcement amid changing demographics.

Author:

This blog is my perspective on dwelling in our small village nestled among beautiful forests, farms and open landscapes. Educated in Israel and the US, I have an MS in Computer Science. My viewpoint has been shaped by world travel, friends and benefactors both strangers and people I know. Linda Kaidan