Monday, December 13, 2010

TAMIU Professor on Laredo: "the image becomes the perception that becomes the reality."

Locals hope more visitors choose Laredo

From  Tamiu's The Bridge
Dec.12th-By Yvette Garcia, Adolpho Mora & Jessica Torres

Let's start by making that distinction- THERE ARE TWO LAREDOS. There is Laredo, Texas, and there is Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. We are purposely making these two distinctions because the cities are a bi-national region but do remain on different sides of the border. Laredo Texas is a great wonderful vibrant city, which is struggling right now in light of all the negative/bad publicity that is being filtered to the rest of the nation.

John Kilburn, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Texas A&M International University, asks the question: Is this sensationalism? "There seems to be a lack of statistics from credible sources; which moves to the unknown, which feeds into fears [crime especially], which keeps people from coming over," he adds.

Dr. Kilburn also states that people are terrified to visit when in actuality there is lower crime than that of New Orleans, his hometown, and adds that "the image becomes the perception that becomes the reality." In statistics can be found on different cities. Not to the surprise of people in Laredo, but probably to most of the country, Laredo's crime rate is at 481.3 with a population of 176,576 (2008 stats are reported on this website, and numbers are per 100,000 in population).

The national average is at 320.9 and obviously higher numbers means more crime. To put this into perspective, in relation to other highly populated cities in Texas, Laredo is only beat by Austin, Texas.

City Crime Rate Average Population
San Antonio552.61,144,646

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