Violent Crime in Mesa County is down, while drug crime is up according to CBI report

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO-KJCT)-- New violent crime stats show while crime is up at the state level in Colorado, violent crime in Mesa County is going down.

A report by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation finds that violent crime is down while drug crimes are up.

According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) data, violent crimes and drug busts have gone up at the state level between 2017 and 2018, but here in Mesa County, it’s a little different story, after a push by law enforcement last year.

"No cop wants to show up and take a report of something that already happened,” according to Mesa County Undersheriff Todd Rowell. “We want to show up before it happens."

It’s an ambitious goal but the main focus for the Mesa County Sheriff's office is a little different.

CBI’s annual crime stats report is out and shows violent crimes are down by 31 percent between 2017 and 2018.

In 2018, there were 179 violent crime cases, compared to 262 in 2017.

Violent Crime Stats

"We implemented intelligence-led policing," Undersheriff Rowell said about the numbers being down.

The Sheriff’s Office says they added a crime analyst and an intelligence officer to recognize crime trends in specific communities.

"We would know who the offenders are that are putting people in danger in our community," stated Rowell.

Another effort was letting deputies focus on smaller neighborhoods, possibly why property crimes, like burglaries, went down by 20 percent.

"We gave them the responsibility and authority to fix some of the problems and identify problems," said Rowell.

But going forward, Rowell notices there has been an uptick with heroin cases over the last few years. They have had a couple of overdoses over the last couple of weeks.

Drug narcotics violations actually went up in 2018 with 358 cases, up 20 percent since the year before.

"Methamphetamine has always been a drug of choice in our community and has always been an issue," stated Rowell.

Regardless of what the numbers say, Mesa County Sheriff Office says their efforts continue around the clock.

"There's a lot of work and it’s not work put in once a month, it’s all week long, this is our focus," said Rowell.

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