A rape happens every 5 hours and 13 minutes in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. About one in four of the rapes are solved. That leaves plenty of rapists out there to attack again and again.

Arizona has failed to keep up with technology when it comes to investigating and solving rapes and other predatory sex crimes that most often victimize women and children.

In 2004 an attempt was made to design and build a system called SCAN, Sex Crimes Analysis Network, to identify, track and capture rapists. It never got off the ground and the $400,000 destined for the crime-solving project went elsewhere. Police professionals with extensive first hand experience in sex crimes investigations and crime data collection and investigative analysis designed SCAN.

Arizona still lives in the dark ages when it comes to the collection of usable crime data and continues to ignore the need for a system to collect, analyze and disseminate real-time information about serious crime and criminals.

The state lacks the commitment to adequately fund the anti-crime efforts to look for evidence that will identify and aid in the successful prosecution of rapists and other violent offenders.

Officers who investigate crimes have told me it can take weeks or even months to get evidence from serious crimes analyzed by the DPS crime lab. That’s weeks and months while crimes continue to be committed. And that’s especially true with rapists and sexual predators. They attack until they’re caught!

Last week, Darren Sharper, a retired National Football League player and NFL TV Network analyst was arrested in Los Angeles for two rapes and has reportedly been linked to other rapes in Arizona, California, Louisiana and Nevada. My guess is there are other victims in Arizona and elsewhere that have yet to be identified.

My sources tell me because of a “lack of funds,” a system to identify and track sex crimes and rapists in Arizona is still a pipe dream.

Protecting the people of Arizona from criminals has yet to be a priority for the state legislature, but providing special police protection for the National Football League is?

State House of Representatives Majority Leader Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, and Senate Minority Whip Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, at the behest of Glendale City officials, want the state to spend up to $4 million dollars to pay for special police services at the NFL’s 2015 Super Bowl in Glendale.

Like the NFL really needs a handout.

The NFL is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Forbes reported last August, that "The NFL’s 32 teams are worth, on average, $1.17 billion, 5 percent more than last year. Overall profitability for the NFL also rose. During the 2012 season average operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $44 million, 7 percent more than the previous year.”

The Arizona Cardinals which have lived off of taxpayer handouts for years are estimated to be worth $961 million dollars.

According to the New York Times, in 2012 NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made $44.2 million dollars. The Times article said the NFL generates “$10 billion dollars annually.” The NFL is considered a "non-profit" business.

Even with the NFL’s billion-dollar income, some in the legislature want us to spend millions in Glendale while rapists run free thanks to the state not meeting basic law enforcement obligations for the rest of us.

I’m guessing there will be plenty of Super Bowl tickets for the legislators who support this giveaway.

While the NFL gets richer and the Super Bowl in Glendale will help line their pockets with our cash, a rape will still be committed every five hours or so, unless th

(1) comment

John Flanagan

Let's look at this issue realistically. Super Bowl security is important because of the potential of mass murder resulting from a terrorist attack. Should the NFL pay most of the security expense? Yes. As for rape crimes and lack of resources, no police dept ever has enough officers, lab workers, investigators, crime scene forensic techs, and to make matters worse.....courts are slow, warrants are sometimes delayed, defense lawyers obstruct the investigations, and so on. Most city detectives have a case load if a couple hundred or more open investigations, pending cases, new ones each day. Then you have the politics of police dept priorities, the pain in the ass media pushing their own agenda, and the result is much dysfunction. The media is often a driver in these matters, stressing cases like bullying, alleged hate crimes, political investigations, and such things as more urgent, and moving them to the top of the line.

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