Fargo PD Says Downtown Has Less Crime, But It Could Spread Elsew - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo PD Says Downtown Has Less Crime, But It Could Spread Elsewhere

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The downtown Fargo area is notorious for having a high crime rate compared to the rest of the city. But Fargo police say they think that may be changing, because of technology. In mid summer, cameras were put in and crime has gone down. Since then, criminal mischief has gone down almost 150 percent, theft has gone down 70 percent, personal crime has stayed about the same, and property crime has gone down more than 50 percent.

Sgt. Jeff Skuza with the Fargo Police Department says, "In a short period of time, it appears they've made a tremendous difference."

From summer to winter, downtown Fargo has changed more than just its season.

"If you compare to the same time last year, it's a quarter," says Sgt. Skuza.

That's how much crime has dropped downtown, and all signs are pointing to technology as the reason. But not everyone is convinced.

Gordy Hansen of Fargo says, "I was robbed on Broadway."

They're also not sure that cameras are an ethical solution.

Kim Seeb of Fargo says, "Reassurance to the public that you officers aren't sitting and laughing at it."

On top of people's security and enforcement concerns, the Fargo Police Department has their own. They're not sure whether the data means anything, because while crime has gone down in downtown, it may just be going down the road.

Sgt. Skuza says, "We've shifted problems around before. We've solved a problem here and had it pop up somewhere else."

The department says they'll continue to research and follow crime trends, but for now, the cameras seem to be working, making downtown a safer place.

Besides the cameras, Fargo Police have also increased enforcement in downtown on the weekends, put more officers on foot and bike and added a downtown resource officer.

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