Not even 70 years. We had Yakone 42 years ago which means the city was already going sketch when the gaang was alive. Maybe Toph was secretly a dirty cop.
True. So the city got worse on Aang’s watch. Dude stopped the Fire Nation from conquering the world, but… apparently didn’t do much to curb organised crime. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.
There’s pretty much diddly squat in canon to suggest that the Beifongs are/were competent police officers, which is sad, and I think the writers should all go sit in a corner and reflect upon their choices.
To be honest, I suspect that Bryke wanted a crime-riddled metropolis as a setting because crime-riddled metropolises are a staple of the superhero genre, and they just thought it was cool. Republic City feels very generic, in a way. There’s nothing about it that suggests it was founded by a monk. You’d think that Aang, Katara, and Sokka all would’ve had a lot of influence on policy, but the city still ended up with the sort of social problems you usually get as a result of wealth inequality and unchecked capitalism.
What bugs me isn’t that crime and poverty and general inequality exist in the shining new Republic City - human nature is human nature - it’s that no one in the show really talks about it. I can understand the writers not wanting to get bogged down in recounting the city’s history, but having no discussion at all makes it seem like we’re not supposed to care about how this idealistic model city started by world heroes just a few decades earlier is now a place where children grow up homeless and gangs extort shopkeepers and so on.
And now that I’ve thought of it, it’s never going to stop bothering me that the careless writing keeps (almost certainly unintentionally) making Lin Beifong out to be not a great chief of police.