E - here's why:

rockubabe wrote:

Many people think that the only way to remedy the problem of rime is by increasing the number of police officers, but recent statistics show that many major cities had similar ratios of police officers to citizens, yet diverged widely in their crime rates.

the statistics cited function in the argument to

First you have to understand what the question is asking you to do. It's asking what role did "recent statistics show that many major cities had similar ratios of police officers to citizens, yet diverged widely in their crime rates" have in this argument? The word "but" preceding the big sentence implies that the statistics were sort of saying "wait now hold on." When you read the statement in its entirely you should get that sense.

(A) establish that the number of police officers does not need to be increased [color=#BF0000All the stats established in the context of the argument is "that many major cities had similar ratios of police officers to citizens, yet diverged widely in their crime rates." Nothing about what to do about police officer numbers.[/color]

(B) illustrate the need for increasing the number of police officers in major cities This is just another way of saying the opposite of A. We tossed out A because it said the stats were providing advice on what to do about the police numbers. They aren't.

(C) prove that there are factors other than the number of police officers that are more important in reducing the crime rate "Prove" is a huge flag. Very strong language... 1) stats rarely "prove" anything. They are probability by definition, and "probable" isn't proof. 2) "more important": the wording of this sentence wants to lure you in because it's actually closer to the point than A or B. The stats ARE implying that police numbers aren't telling the whole story. That much should be clear. But it says nothing to the effect of HOW important the number is. It could still be the most important.

(D) demonstrate that there is no relation between the number of police officers and the crime rate This is just a silly notion and out of scope. This is a very broad claim... yet the discussion is only about major cities. "No relation" is too strong as well.

(E) suggest that the number of police officers is not the only influence on the crime rate We're left with this, and it's correct. The stats can really only suggest (strongly suggest in this case), not prove or demonstrate. By this point in our reasoning, especially considering the points we made in rejecting C, this should easily stand out. The stats say that the number of police does not have a direct relationship with the crime rates in major cities. It's not +1 cop, -1 crime since the ratios are out of whack in different cities. So there must be at least something else at play here (mobster population? climate? standard of police training?).

Smart people, please help. I'm an idiot.

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