Well so much for nostalgia about this idyllic small city in the Midwest! It's hard to understand what is happening there. Perhaps these statistics are no more reliable than the government's monthly employment reports!!
In our years there I also recall my car being broken into in the hospital parking garage, my windshield being broken in the church parking lot, our bicycle stolen from the garage, then traded up for other stolen bikes in the neighborhood, a murder at the convenience store down on Stadium Drive, your brother's back pack being stolen and ransacked at the middle school,
and the sister of a church member being attacked and severely beaten. (She had to go into the witness protection program!) Maybe this is not a new trend.
You make many valid points here. I can personally attest to the decline of the downtown areas of the Zoo. Still, you are describing surburban K'zoo, not the imfamous North Side. That place was a gang-infested nightmare even when we were in Jr. High and High School. Remember Dave Doezema? He used to be the only white dude in his neighborhood, and used to see all kinds of messed up things. He was given a pass though, as I guess any white person who lived in that area since birth got a free pass from violence; they "has his back" as it were. The stories he would tell me though were brutal; no wonder he went into urban planning........