Crime in Alabama’s Biggest City

How does crime rate play into the attraction of new businesses to the area? Birmingham has for a long time been featured on top of the list of the most dangerous places to live in America. The nationwide crime rankings have always placed the city near the top. In fact, it scooped the 5th position in property crime, violent crime, as well as overall crime, at least according to the 2015 FBI statistics. It often ranks high among large cities with high crime rates. With an estimated population of 210,700 (2017 U.S. Census), Birmingham’s homicide rate took the 7th spot among the most populous cities with at least 100, 000 residents.

The high crime rate is a haven for Bail Bond companies like Quick Release Bail Bonds. For Birmingham, 2014 was characterized by a drop in homicides, thereby making it the year with the second lowest number of homicides after 2011 since 1966. There were 59 homicides in the city, which denoted a drop from 2013. According to the FBI crime statistics, the numbers of homicides from 2005 to 2012 were as follows: 105 (2005), 109 (2006), 93 (2007), 88 (2008), 71 (2009), 62 (2010), 57 (2011), and 72 (2012). Birmingham’s highest and lowest homicide statistics in recent history were 141 in 1991 and 56 in 1966.

The crime rate in the city is about 85 per 1, 000 individuals, which is one of the highest in the country. In fact, a 2010 study ranked it 20th most dangerous city with populations of over 25, 000 residents. Bessemer is another neighboring city that ranked very high at position 7 nationwide. Between 2014 and 2016, violent crime in this city rose by about 10 percent. Not only is Birmingham city the third most violent in America, but also ranks high in crimes like aggravated assault, robbery, and even murder, with each rate ranking top five of major cities in the country.

The high crime rate in the area can be attributed to poverty, which largely affects many high crime rate cities in the world. 31 percent of Birmingham inhabitants live in poverty, which is a relatively high poverty rate. This is higher than most large U.S. cities, except about a dozen.

The Birmingham Police Department oversees the investigations and administrative functions of the facility. The 4 precincts look after about 210, 700 citizens within a 151-square mile area. About 47 officers have lost their lives in the course of discharging their duties since the BPD was established in 1871. Located at 1710 1st Av. N Birmingham, Alabama (35203), the BPD has about 912 uniformed employees to patrol the city and ensure residents and their belongings are safe. The BPD police officers are well-trained to deal with a wide range of scenarios that require reasoned judgment and prompt action on the part of the police.

In 2017, the FBI ranked Alabama as the 3rd highest in rate of murder. With a population of about 4, 863, 300 (U.S. Census of 2016), the city had about 407 murders in 2016 alone. 2015 also propelled the state to the 3rd position among the states with the highest homicides in the nation. The FBI statistics also revealed that violent crimes reported in 2015 were about 26, 000. The police have to work hand in hand with the community in crime prevention to ensure that incidences of crime are kept low. Therefore, they encourage residents to report to the police anything unusual or suspicious to help prevent crimes before they happen.

The History of One of Alabama’s Greatest Cities

Birmingham city enjoys a strategic location in Jefferson County in the north-central part of Alabama. It is also Alabama’s most populous city, with a population of about 210,710 (2017 U.S. Census). The city lies in the fifth largest county in Alabama, within a 148-square mile area. On the other hand, the Jefferson County lies within a 1,124-square mile area, with an estimated population of 659, 197 (2017 U.S. Census).

Founded in 1871, the city was named after its sister city in England, which is the second largest city in the entire United Kingdom. The Alabama-based city started during the Reconstruction era, after the Civil War. Starting as an industrial center propelled by mining, rail transport, and the newly-formed iron and steel industry, the city grew to become a popular place for sourcing affordable, non-unionized immigrant labor. Irish and Italian immigrants largely provided the labor alongside African Americas in the rural parts of the county. The blast furnaces and steel mills sector employed the immigrants and competed with unionized industrial cities located in the Northeast and Midwest regions.

Since its founding in1881 through to the 1960s, its growth as an industrial center earned it the nickname “The Magic City”, thanks to the steel and iron production industries. The remaining half of the twentieth century was characterized by a diversification of the economy to include electrical power transmission, insurance, college education, medical care, telecommunications, and banking. Some of the United States largest banking centers are also found here. Major colleges of nursing, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, optometry, engineering, law, and physical therapy can be found in the Birmingham area. When the Elyton Land Company founded the city in 1871, they focused on cotton planting, railroad, and banking. The city has since grown to become a diversified economy with several functional industries and sectors.

Birmingham lies in Jones Valley, bordered by extensive parallel mountain ridges stretching from northeast through to southwest. Valley and Village Creeks drain the valley and feed the Black Warrior River. Toward the south of downtown lies Red Mountain, Sand Mountain to the north and Ruffner Mountain to the east. Birmingham lies 237 km (147 miles) west of the neighboring Atlanta and 385 km (239 miles) southeast of Memphis, Tennessee. It is also 148km (92 miles) north of Montgomery and 309 km (192 miles) south of Nashville. The city is 1.71% covered in water while the remaining 98.29% is on an extensive piece of land.

Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, African Americans comprised 73.4% of the population, which is the largest in the city, followed by 22.3% White population. Hispanic or Latinos comprise 3.6% whereas Asians and Native Americans are 1% and 0.2% of the population, respectively. Pacific Islanders take up about 0.04% of the population while the remaining is shared among other minority races.

As the most populous city in the state, Birmingham boasts a population of about 210, 710 (2017 U.S. Census). The greater metropolitan area has a population of about 1, 128, 000 and includes numerous suburb cities, including Alabaster, Homewood, Center Point, Fairfield, and Bessemer

The Current State of Alabama’s Business Industry

As Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham, AL offers many business opportunities. For instance, it is home to some of the largest commercial banking facilities in the county. The steel industry is also recognized as a key player in the country’s economy. In general, Birmingham’s culture is built on resilience, economic prosperity, and family. Those who are business-minded will like it here. When the country’s manufacturing age was peaking, the city was experiencing a fast population growth, which earned it the name “Magic City.” It is regarded as one of the best places to live and work in America, thanks to the competitive salary rates backed by minimized living expenses.

Birmingham is ranked high regarding the number of new start-ups cropping up and has one of the agilest business populations. Oddly enough there has been a notable increase in the number of new portrait studios in Birmingham Alabama. Birmingham also has excellent transport networks, with attractive business conference venues. In a 2016 industry report, new capital investment in the auto industry showed a promising future for the industry. This expansion has been noted in new and expanding firms that make auto parts and complete automobiles. While the auto manufacturing industry is relatively new in Alabama and only began about two decades ago, there are hopes that it could expand to create more jobs and business opportunities for the country. In particular, a manufacturing plant making Mercedes-Benz was the first to jump-start Alabama’s auto manufacturing industry. Even Mercedes-Benz U.S. International CEO Jason Hoff noted that suppliers and manufacturers alike have realized that Alabama presents exceptional opportunities for business growth and development.

Other factors that businesses in Birmingham enjoy include a low-cost environment, a skilled workforce, and business-friendly policies. On several occasions, businesses elsewhere have failed due to a suppressive government regime or a non-conducive business environment. The county also boasts accomplished job-training programs to equip workers with the skills required to accomplish assigned tasks.

However, despite the thriving business environment offered by Birmingham, AL, the major challenge for businesses in the city is the potential lack of the right labor skills to perform skilled labor tasks. Perhaps recruiting and nurturing highly-skilled workforce would be the only way to save the city from the potential decline in business due to unskilled/semi-skilled labor. For instance, despite having a high potential for growth, the manufacturing industry is not expanding at the rate it should because it lacks a highly skilled labor force. However, this could change for the better if people considered a career in the manufacturing industry and developed their skills around the area.

Welcome

Hello everyone, my name is Ronald Cummins and I was born, raised, and have lived my entire life in Birmingham, Al.  I believe in patronizing local businesses, and promoting local business growth.  I have started the Alabama First Society(AFS) Business Organization.  This blog is blog is going to serve as the hub to promote local businesses and all things related to Birmingham Alabama.  It’s going to take me a few weeks to get everything built but once I’m done I hope you find my blog valuable and informative.

See ya soon-

Ronald