In an interview with 680 KFEQ Wednesday morning, St. Joseph Chief of Police Chris Conally said crime has increased around 6 percent.
Since January, the St. Joseph Police Department has responded to five homicide investigations with six victims. As we previously reported, officers responded Sunday to a double-homicide investigation on Safari Dr. Since then, five people have been charged in connection with that case.
“We know when something like this happens it instills a lot of fear in our community. One of the things that we can guarantee is that when something like this comes up we put every resource into it that we have and we continue to fight this type of crime with any resource available, all resources,” Connally said. “This is a situation that involved career criminals. The victims were in that neighborhood visiting somebody and had left when this occurred.”
Connally said crime is up all over the nation not just in St. Joseph.
“In my opinion there is a crime wave going across the country and unfortunately the large increases we’ve seen in a lot of the municipal areas, unfortunately we’re not immune to that,” he said.
But some areas of crime are down.
“Burglaries have been down a little bit in recent months, larcenies have been down a little bit in recent months,” Connally said. “If you’re a victim of a crime whether it’s up or down that doesn’t matter very much the fact of the matter is you’re a victim.”
Crime in 2015 was also up.
“Last year we saw over 300 more assaults then the year before, we’ve continued to see that rise,” Connally said. “We saw a significant rise mostly over the last six months of last year and that’s continued on into this year. Actually June was the most normalized aside from two homicides which is very unfortunate; the other statistics were the most normalized then we’ve seen in the last 12 months.”
He said many of the increases have been with disputes, and domestic related calls and police are also seeing an increase in mental health issues.