Simi Valley is the Safest City, NOT!
I used to live in the San Fernando Valley, a giant, sprawling suburban enclave on the North West side of Los Angeles. When I lived there, it was not so bad, but I saw the handwriting on the wall, and I got out of Dodge, as the saying goes. The area of the Valley that I left deteriorated significantly. It’s not yet a hell hole, but it’s working on it.
Simi Valley, my adopted city, historically puffed out its chest and proudly extolled its “safest city” status. That is, the “safest city” for a population size of 100,000. The appellation often awarded was a result of the F.B.I.’s annual tabulation of crime.
I became an intelligence officer in 1989 and began to learn about a phenomenon, which until 2001, flew under the radar of most Americans: TERRORISM. Ramzi Yousef and Timothy McVeigh delivered a wakeup call with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing respectively. Unfortunately, most Americans were shocked, yawned and went back to business as usual. That is, until 9/11/2001. We responded magnificently for awhile and then many started snoozing again. Witness the current wrangling by the Presidential candidates. The Republicans can speak the term “Islamofascism,” but the Democrats can not. Politicians are not focused on non-Islamofascist terrorism.
The purpose of a terrorist attack is to make a statement in furtherance of the goal of political, religious or social change. Once I understood that basic fact, I became alarmed that my adopted city was inadvertently inviting terrorists of the world to come and make an example out of our city. How so?
Imagine that a terrorist, domestic or international, blew-up the beautiful Simi Valley Police station. What would be the terrorist message? Try this on for size: The police in the “safest city” can not protect themselves. How can the police in any American city protect you, the citizen?
To the chagrin of the city fathers, the Chamber of Commerce, and the real estate industry, Simi Valley lost its “safest city” status and will probably never regain it. But, it did not lose it because it became an unsafe environment. It lost it because the City’s population grew with a proportional increase in the number of crimes. Smaller cities with a better crime picture grew larger and entered the FBI 100,000 population size category and, thereby, won the coveted prize. From my perspective, the new comer cities can keep the prize. I say good riddance to a liability.