Grand Junction crime in 2017: How did we fare?

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The Grand Junction Police Department just released their annual crime report Friday.

For some crimes, Grand Junction saw an increase, and for others, there was a steep drop. GJPD can use this information to help them understand what's going on in our backyards

The report is 18 pages, and it reflects what GJPD was up to in 2017.

"I'm very proud of everything that's in that annual report,” said Mike Nordine, interim Chief of Police. “I think that we as an organization do a lot for our community."

Part of the report outlines violent crime. In 2017, Grand Junction had four homicides, down from six in 2016. We also had nearly 170 aggravated assaults, up just a bit from 2016.

"Really, the only way we can impact those is through building relationships in the community that make people comfortable coming to their police department," said Nordine.

GJPD said those kinds of crimes normally happen between people who know each other and their ability to truly impact crimes like homicide is limited. Though they can influence things like property crime.

“I think we do have an opportunity to have a positive impact on those, provided we have the resources to apply to them," said Nordine.

Thefts decreased by seven percent in 2017, there were 1,549 in 2017. In 2016, thefts topped out at 1,673.

Nordine said his drug task force is maxed out on handling drug violations and crimes. In 2017, drug violations increased by 11 percent, there were 1,401 total drug violations.

"I don't know that we're going change anything (as far as crime policing),” said Nordine. “We will continue to work with our strategic policing efforts.”

While they're proud of the report, they definitely see opportunities for growth in the years ahead.

"In 2018, we are going to be working much harder at enforcing traffic laws," said Nordine.

Total traffic incidents decreased by 15 percent. There were seven traffic deaths in 2017, same as 2016 and 2014.

The police department said they were able to use a crime analyst that showed a high spike in general crime around Colorado Mesa University at the start of the school year. With that knowledge and stepped up patrols last year, that spike dropped over 40 percent.

For the full 2017 report, follow the link next to this article.

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