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This is exactly the sort of thing suburban visitors need to see when they step out of their car in a downtown area struggling to return to life:

This particular ad — spotted May 10 — came from downtown York, catty-corner from the Central Market. I had to laugh. Fear of crime, justified or not, seems to be one of the biggest obstacles to bringing people into the city. What better way to erase people’s fears than to remind them that people they see on the street could be carrying both guns AND drugs?

I love going into the city, but I don’t like explaining pictures of three-foot tall guns to my children.

On another note, I think York County commissioner and anti-crime crusader Steve Chronister could take a few notes from this article about fighting urban violence. It might work better than ads.

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Anyone who cares about the city of York, Pa. — and I’m sure there are some out there — should give a closer look at this, the crime plan put forward by one of our county commissioners, Steve Chronister.

Sure, the plan’s costs might drive up our taxes yet again and people outside York city don’t like the plan’s urban focus.

But consider this angle: The plan’s main advocate is a real-estate agent. Maybe, just maybe, he sees some potential in the city and figures a stronger anti-crime push could lay the groundwork for home sales.

Is it cynical? Perhaps. But it’s better than gobbling up more of our county’s diminishing green space.

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