Crime in Coon Rapids went down in most categories in 2018 compared to 2017, despite a higher number of calls for service, according to a crime report published by the city.
“My impression is that we’re going to be pretty close to being the same (this year),” Coon Rapids Police Capt. John Urquhart said.
Aggravated assault, burglary, theft and arson were reported less in 2018 than the previous year. Robbery and motor vehicle theft reports went up, and the number of rape and murder reports stayed the same, with the number of murders remaining at zero.
In 2018 45,378 service calls were made, which averages to about 124 calls a day. The term service calls refers to all calls, not just crime-related calls.
“We have fantastic citizens in Coon Rapids who live in the city here who call us to let us know when something isn’t right,” Urquhart said.
Nearly 4,000 service calls were for medical reasons, another 2,536 were about suspicious activity and 2,406 were complaints.
Of the crime-related calls, 1,393 were reporting theft, including shoplifting.
This year, the number of calls continues to rise, Urquhart said. So far in 2019 call numbers about 13% higher than last year, he said.
Urquhart said if the department notices a neighborhood is having problems, it will send more officers to patrol the area to keep it safe.
“We have a sworn staff of 65 officers that have worked very hard to create a culture of working in partnership with our community as we strive to fulfill our mission to enhance public safety,” Chief Brad Wise wrote in the report.
In 2018, more than 60,000 grams of marijuana, 51,000 grams of methamphetamine and 51,000 hits of LSD were seized, all of which were more than in 2017.
Of the motor vehicle crashes in 2018, 70% were property damage accidents, 29% resulted in some injury and 1% were fatal.
Last year, 5,162 citations were issued, most of which were traffic related. More than 1,000 were for speeding, 818 were for driver’s license violations and another 699 were parking violations.
Since 2007 the Police Department has seen a 91% increase in mental health-related calls for service, according to the report. In 2018 that number was up to 780.
Urquhart said the department is working to continue of lowering crime rates in the city this year, which can be done by having residents who report crime when they see it and having police officers dedicated to capturing perpetrators.