I was very surprised this morning to see that crime in Lincoln has dropped significantly -- by 19% or 13% in the first half of the year, depending on how you choose to crunch the numbers. That's impressive for several reasons. One is that, as I have mentioned before and as Chief Casady likes to talk about, Lincoln isn't exactly crawling with cops. That's not to say we should have cops on every corner, just that an increased police presence is generally going to be expected to decrease certain types of crimes. Another reason is the economy. My gut instinct tells me that there should be an inverse relationship between "the economy" (a fuzzy concept to be sure), and rates of certain crimes, such as theft. Maybe Lincoln is bucking the trend, for some reason. Or perhaps my gut is dead wrong. Beyond all of that, I think some of the credit has to go to Lincolnites. Scoff if you will, but I think there is a kernel of truth to the notion that Lincoln is still a small town at heart. Enough Lincolnites are connected to other Lincolnites by social bonds -- even relatively weak bonds of acquaintanceship -- that the community fabric holds together pretty well. In that sort of an environment, crime can be expected to stay lower than it otherwise would be. Of course, there are plenty of factors straining those bonds so even if this is all true, we've got our work cut out for us to keep it together. Go at it, you amateur criminologists. What's up with the big drop in the crime rate?