Friday, February 13, 2009

Lord, make us instruments of your peace

Violent crime up in city and county

By Valerie Lough, Springfield News Sun
Feb. 13, 2009

SPRINGFIELD- Violent crime in the city and in Clark County rose above the national average in 2008, according to data released by law enforcement officials.

Nationally, violent crime was down 3.5 percent between January and June 2008, according to FBI statistics.

In Clark County and Springfield, violent crimes increased 3.8 percent in 2008, a figure that has officials worried.

In Springfield alone, violent crime increased by 4.1 percent last year.

"That's a major concern in this organization and should be in the community," Springfield Police Division Chief Stephen Moody said.

While the numbers themselves are small, the increases are not. In 2007, Springfield police recorded 9 murders; in 2008 there were 12, a 25 percent jump.

What precipitated the rise is the subject of speculation, but officials hesitate to blame national trends.

"Any violent crime is one too many," said Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly. "But these crimes have been committed and people have been arrested."

Violent crime in Clark County, excluding data from the city, rose 1.6 percent in 2008.

(Aggravated assault tops the list of violent crimes)

See also: Area violent crime up, drops nationally

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