Public Safety

Police say violent crime in Cedar Rapids has dropped in first half of 2018

A Cedar Rapids police car. (Gazette file photo)
A Cedar Rapids police car. (Gazette file photo)

Cedar Rapids police say violent crime declined nearly 13 percent during the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

According to data provided by the police department, there were 151 violent crimes between January and June this year. Last year there were 173 during the same time period.

For tracking purposes, the FBI breaks violent crimes up into several categories, including murder, aggravated assault, sexual assault and robbery.

Chart by John McGlothlen / The Gazette

Of those four categories, police department data shows murder and robbery saw slight increases between 2017 and 2018, with zero murders during the first six months of last year and three this year during the same period. Robberies increased by two cases — from 45 to 47. Forcible rapes dropped 33 percent, from 15 offenses between January and June of 2017 to 10 during the same period this year. Other forms of sexual assault also saw decreases during this period. Aggravated assaults dropped nearly 20 percent, from 113 to 91 during the first six months of 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“There are likely a number of factors that are driving the violent crime rate downward, including community involvement, significant arrests of violent offenders, partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, working with prosecutors at both the local and federal levels … and crime prevention,” said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman.

Overall, the police department said Cedar Rapids has seen an eight percent decrease in these violent crime categories since 2013.

Property crime totals, which include auto theft, burglary, identity theft and other financial thefts have also declined slightly, according to the police department.

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City Manager Jeff Pomeranz attributed the declines to “citizens and organizations working with our police officers to make sure that our community is safe.”

l Comments: kat.russell@thegazette.com

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