Quality of life crimes on the rise

Published: Mar. 26, 2018 at 10:52 PM CDT
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Some Fargo residents we spoke with say they feel safe in their neighboorhoods.

"We live in a pretty good neighborhood," says Bailey Knutson, who lives in Fargo.

Newly released crime statistics for 2017 show violent crimes are down. "Aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, theft of vehicle. Those crimes were at a zero percent increase," says Fargo Police Chief David Todd.

But quality of life crimes - like vandalism, trespassing, and drug abuse violations - are up 18%. Officers responded to 956 more of these part II offenses in 2017 than in 2016.

"I noticed that at our apartment, they have that sign on our door right when we walk in that people have been breaking into our garages and stuff," Knutson says.

“If things aren’t going to be solved, they’re going to keep happening. Maybe that’s why we saw such a jump,” says Kayla Moen. Moen's Osgood area home was broken into this February. She says since then,

she hasn't gotten any updates from police about the status of her case. “It’s frustrating, and I guess scary.”

Meanwhile, Chief Todd says the rise is tied to having more officers on the force and in the streets, which allows them to work more proactively. "Because we have more officers meeting the demand for calls for service, we're seeing more officer initiated activity," he says. "They're having more time to go out there and find things instead of rushing from call to call."

Chief Todd says the department has added about 30 officers over the last 3.5 years - and plans to keep adding about 5 officers a year for the next six years.

Despite changes in staffing, not everyone says they're seeing more patrol cars in their neighborhoods.

"It makes me a little nervous because you don't see a lot of officers around our apartment," Knutson says.