WATERLOO — Crime in the city was down for a third straight year in 2017, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Waterloo Police Department.
Calls for service handled by the department fell about 3 percent, from 54,641 in 2016 to 52,759 last year.
“The Waterloo Police Department has implemented effective community policing strategies, and we are a department of dedicated, hardworking professionals. We are going to further refine our strategies for 2018 to further effectively deal with a small group of individuals who are committing our most violent crimes,” Police Chief Daniel Trelka said.
City officials said the crime numbers were the lowest in decades, and Mayor Quentin Hart said he was pleased.
“The numbers tell the story: Waterloo is a safe community where crime is low,” Hart said. “Proactive public safety is a continuous process of adapting, responding and adjusting to what is happening in the culture. Some of what worked a few years ago no longer works today. We will continue to implement innovative solutions to make sure our officers are prepared and equipped for the next challenge.”
According to the statistics, Group A offenses — about 30 serious crimes — dropped 8.1 percent over the prior year, and Group B offenses — disorderly conduct, trespassing and other minor crimes — decreased 2.16 percent.
Total index crimes — murder, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft — were down in 2017, from 2,214 reported in 2016 to 1,919 last year.
Of the index crimes, aggravated assault saw the largest decrease, a 40-percent drop from 321 reported cases in 2016 to 191 in 2017. Rape dropped from 39 to 30, and robbery dipped from 61 to 54, according to the numbers. Burglary was down from 634 to 547, and larceny went from 1,021 to 943.
Murder was one of two crimes in the index group to increase, doubling from three in 2016 to six in 2017. One involved a murder-suicide, and police arrested a man for murder charges in the death of a child, but the remaining slayings remain unsolved. Auto theft also increased, from 135 to 148.