The numbers reveal a promising story that crime is down in New Bedford. However, the shell casings, bullet holes in buildings contrast those real numbers into a terrifying nightmare.

Ward 3 New Bedford City Council candidate Mark Zajac contends crime is down. Mark is missing the mark. The numbers tell a one year snap shot. Real incidents are a day-to-day opposite. The New Bedford perception of a crime-riddled city keeps good people off downtown streets at night. This same perception stops small and medium businesses from venturing into the city. Is it any wonder that under-employment is so high?

There you have it. Wrapped in a nice bow. Powerful proof that perception is reality to those doing the perceiving. Candidate Zajac needs to do more than read the statistics and wish crime away. Crime is a mega problem and it's real. When it doesn't happen in the burbs, but does in your community - that's reality. That's what constituents read, hear and talk about over butts and beer. This explains why Dartmouth gets Wal Mart, Target and TGI Friday.

Editor’s Note: Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.