The District is among several of the nation's urban cities that have seen a decline in violent crime over the past several years. It's a topic of discussion among government officials who have turned to urban researchers to find out who deserves the credit.
Rightfully so, however, there is little if any credit being given to the community-based and nonprofit organizations that are embedded within the communities they serve and where the problems exist. Sure, the police have done their part, sometimes overzealously, and culprits of drugs and guns also took their toll. But for those who answered the call for mentoring and mediation and counseling, the community-based organizations were effective in providing hands-on intervention.
So no, groups like the Alliance of Concerned Men, Concerned Black Men, Peaceoholics and other grassroots community-based programs, locally, aren't being given their due. Rather than get angry about it or sulk because of it, there's a new objective these groups should be focusing on: education. Keeping children out of trouble is proving to be as difficult as getting them to go to school. But youth advocates, returning citizens and others should take that next step and lead the effort to end the city's high truancy rate. They still might not get credit for making sure more students graduate from high school, but they will benefit from their efforts just like the rest of us.