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San Bernardino mayor heads to Washington

August 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The mayor of San Bernardino has been invited to the White House. Crime in San Bernardino has gone down tremendously and the president is recognizing it. In 2005, crime in San Bernardino was off the charts with 58 murders in just one year.

One of those murders happened on November 13, 2005 when 11-year-old Mynesha Crenshaw was gunned down in her own home while sitting at the dinner table. It was a gang-related drive-by shooting.

"That kind of tragic loss of life, the loss of innocence, really does focus your attention in a way that speaks for dramatic change," said San Bernardino Mayor Patt Morris.

Four years later, Mayor Morris says San Bernardino has seen dramatic change. Change now noticed by President Obama himself.

"We're taking back our city, from the violent elements, and we've done that in dramatic ways, and it's those statistics that drew us to the White House's attention," said Mayor Morris.

Since 2005, murders have gone down 45 percent, auto theft down 35 percent, and assaults are down 18 percent. They're numbers that people in San Bernardino say they're very proud of.

Now, the mayor is going to Washington to share some of his thoughts on why the city has been so successful at fighting crime.

"This used to be a pretty rough town, and now it seems like it's getting better," said Wally Pekus, a worker in San Bernardino.

"There was a period a few years ago before this mayor was in where you heard an awful lot about murders in San Bernardino, unsafe in downtown and that sort of things and you really don't hear that much anymore," said Eva Miller, a San Bernardino resident.

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