Police chief: Investing in kids can help fight crime

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Enfield Police Chief Richard Crate urged the legislature to invest in New Hampshire kids by funding early childhood education programs in the Concord Monitor. Here’s an excerpt of his article:

As chief of the Enfield Police Department and past president of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, I know that law enforcement officials in the Granite State are doing everything possible to control this disturbing trend. But we need longer-term solutions, too. That’s why we are urging public officials at the state and federal levels to support policies that will give every American child access to high-quality early education.

If we invest today in setting a strong intellectual, cognitive and emotional foundation for children before they reach age 5, we can significantly raise the odds they will stay in and perform well in school, avoid teenage pregnancy, keep away from drug-related and violent crimes and, more generally, contribute to making our communities more livable and prosperous.

…Not only is it a question of equal opportunity for kids, but research from Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman shows that investments in high-quality programs can yield an annual 13 percent return, per child, per year, through improved outcomes, such as reduced crime, higher graduation rates and improved sociability.

Even the most advanced and well-resourced police forces can only do so much to stop crime. Technology and equipment can help, but the best way to stop crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Fundamental changes to existing systems are the way to do this, starting with education and full-day kindergarten.

 

…That’s why I urge the members of the Legislature to approve increased state funding for full-day kindergarten and make sure more kids in New Hampshire have the opportunity to attend a high-quality, full-day program. To fight crime, we must invest in kids.

Read the full article here.