There has been a lot of talk around Lincoln lately about crime, much of it concerning the perception that crime is on the upswing. At the risk of contradicting the conventional wisdom, I think it would still be best if the facts were clearly stated. Regular readers of my blog know that I generally have the data in order. Here you are (click to enlarge):
I picked 1991 as the starting point, because that was the peak year for crime in Lincoln. If you'd like to see the source data from which this graph is derived, I am happy to share my spreadsheet, which will save you the trouble of digging through a couple decades of Annual Reports, or compiling your own stats from our online statistical summary generator.
I realize these data may not match the perception, a phenomenon I tried to explain towards the end of this lengthy post a few years ago, which was a follow-on to this one from the day before.
Crime is but a small part of what the police do. The Lincoln Police Department provides many services and fulfills many duties that are very important in the community, but have little or nothing to do with crime. Every years we're going to handle thousands of non-criminal child abuse/neglect investigations, thousands of missing persons investigations, thousands of motor vehicle crashes, thousands upon thousands of disturbances, deal with boatloads of traffic problems, mental health crises, alarms, alcohol and drug issues, suspicious persons and vehicles, and on and on and on, ad infinitum. You need exactly enough police officers to provide the services your citizens expect, in the manner they wish to have those services delivered.