SCPD Reports Violent Crime Increased in 2020

Feb 22, 2021

Credit Sioux City Police Department

The Sioux City Police Department released preliminary crime statistics that show a 26% overall increase in violent crime from the year before. A news release from Police Chief Rex Mueller did show property crimes fell by 15%. He says while the COVID-19 pandemic likely impacted local crime numbers, officials can’t give specifics to why violent crime is up. There were six murders or homicides in 2020 with guns being involved in many of the city’s violent crimes.The Sioux City Police Department released yearly crime statistics that show a 26% overall increase in violent crime from the year before. A news release from Police Chief Rex Mueller did show property crimes fell by 15%. He says while the COVID-19 pandemic likely impacted local crime numbers, officials can’t give specifics to why violent crime is up. There were six murders or homicides in 2019 with guns being involved in many of the city’s violent crimes.

Credit Sioux City Police Department

News release sent to Sioux City media outlets on February 22, 2021:

Sioux City Area Media Partners,

Since our press club meeting was postponed, I wanted to present you with the crime statistics for the calendar year of 2020. These statistics were compiled by our Lead Crime Analyst Marie Divis to provide you with 2020 data, along with a 5-year view of crime in Sioux City. I will caution you that these are our preliminary 2020 numbers, and may be reinterpreted by the FBI when assembling their nationwide uniform crime report (UCR). This is reclassification of data is done by the FBI because not all states classify crimes in the same manner. It should still provide you with a reasonable snapshot of 2020 crime in Sioux City.

Comparing 2019 to 2020; our overall violent crime for 2020 is up 26%, with overall property crimes down by 15%. Unfortunately, violent crime generally cannot be predicted, and police patrol tactics and strategies only have a limited impact on crime rates. Factors such as economic conditions, age and demographics of the population, geography and climate, population density, citizen education, and cultural factors provide variables that more significantly affect crime.

An interesting question that the numbers will likely not tell us, is how the worldwide pandemic influenced crime rates. While the pandemic likely did impact local crime numbers, we cannot currently specify exactly how. Any theories would be speculation without more supportive data to provide context.

Clearly the rise in violent crime is something that we have given special focus to. Many of these violent crimes are gun related, and current departmental initiatives are doing a very good job of identifying and prosecuting our most dangerous local offenders. This “major offender” approach continues to utilize evidence based techniques and area law enforcement partnerships to share vital data and intelligence. Finally, work with local and federal prosecutors assists in ensuring violent offenders receive appropriate sentences for their crimes.

Looking at our historical property crime statistics, there is nothing overly concerning. Local property crime trends tend to have ebbs and flows over the years. With property crime down 15% we can simply view this as a reasonably steady crime rate. While any downward trends in crime rates are positive, changes of this rate are likely beyond the ability of our department to impact. As always, our department will work to deploy the latest crime reduction strategies to make positive progress in this area. We will also continue to utilize the resources and personnel to provide efficient and effective police services. If I can answer any questions about the attached information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Chief Rex Mueller