EVERY industry has its own sensitive indicators, be they birth rates, bank rates or crop forecasts. The FBI's recent report that the U.S. crime rate is running a brisk 19% ahead of 1967 came as no surprise to one industry whose prosperity is judged by such statistics. Crime and civil commotion are paying off handsomely for the hundreds of scattered, mostly small companies that sell goods and services to the rapidly growing law-enforcement market.

On Wall Street, the cops-and-robbers business is getting the sort of play that once was accorded to aerospace and the...

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