Violent Crime Hits 5-year High

The Grand Junction Police Department releases its annual crime analysis

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - Felony arrests are at a five-year-high in Grand Junction prompting the Grand Junction Police Department to call 2016 a "particularly dangerous year for police officers."

Violent crimes were up 40% in 2016 with 80 more reported incidents when compared to the four year average.

The biggest increase was aggravated assault, up nearly 60%.

Officials tell News Channel 5 that a reclassification  of strangulation contributed to this increase but, even without that change, the increase would have been 17%.

"That's a significant increase over the last year and it's certainly something that alarms us." said Heidi Davidson, with the GJPD, "What we've seen this year is certainly a bigger increase than in recent history."

Homicides, sex offenses and drug violations also saw significant increases from 2015 to 2016.

As far as contributing factors,  the lagging economy has been far from ruled out.

The GJPD points to staffing levels as they say their officers often go call to call with little or no time for normal patrolling or community outreach efforts.

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