2016: Violent crime, shots fired reports down in Cedar Rapids

Violent crime and reports of shots fired decreased from 2015 to 2016.

Statistics paint a picture of a more peaceful Cedar Rapids than in previous years, according to new police numbers.

In 2015, there were 100 shots fired reports but in 2016, that number dropped to 86.

Fewer people are also being killed on city streets.

In 2015, we saw six homicides. Last year, there were four.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said there are a few key elements that helped drive down crime over the past year.

The Police Community Action Team or PCAT took a different approach to a common problem.

"These officers can focus on those specific problems and whatever neighborhood is affected," Chief Jerman said.

The community echoed what Chief Jerman had been saying for years, that there's been too much bloodshed and unnecessary killing in our communities, so the department made it a point to crack down on gun violence.

"Gun violence is a symptom of other issues that are creating it, so the police department needs to work with the rest of the community to address this problem," Chief Jerman said.

Where would the police department be without the civilians behind the scene?

Last year, the push for more community involvement was answered.

More residents called police, reported suspicious activity and more importantly, trusted them.

"The information just doesn't involve tips or information on who's committing these types of crimes, although many times it does, officers also provide information on how to secure their property, how to not become a victim," Chief Jerman said.

This year, law enforcement said they are hoping for more of the same.

One main area of concern has continued to be theft from vehicles.

Last year, there were 29 firearms stolen from vehicles, most of the vehicles were unlocked.

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