Saturday, December 29 2012, 04:07 AM CST
Crime rate rises in 2012
By Cailtin Conrad/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore -- With the new year just around the corner Medford Police are getting in their final bits of crime data, and 2012 was a busy year for them.
In total crime was only up 8% in the City of Medford but police say where they're seeing the biggest increase in crime is with the most serious offenses. Lt. Mike Budreau say this rise is what worries them the most, "Part I crimes are up 13% Part I crimes are the most serious crimes, like rape, arson, and homicide," he said.
Homicide numbers are down from last year in Medford, but unlike last year there's a killing without an arrest. Budreau says it is unusual for the department, "The Huey Huson homicide which is still unsolved that took up a large amount of our resources and we're still dedicating our resources to it," he explained.
The Huson case not the only item on the agenda concerning police. Budreau says drug use is up, which is never good for a city's crime rate.
Drug offenses went up 20.4% in 2012, while Burglaries went up 20.7%, and police say there is a correlation. He says when officers make an arrest for theft and burglary, money to buy drugs is often the reason behind the crime.
In 2012 police saw Heroin use go up and are now trying to get the numbers down. The MADGE unit here in Medford is one of the best in the state but police say just busting drug organizations doesn't solve the problem.
"With no surprise there's always another drug dealer willing to step up and fill that void, and it's kind of a game we play but we're good at that game," Budreau said.
He says this cycle is the reason police are working with the community to look for solutions to the drug problem.
When a drug arrest is made in Medford offenders don't just go to regular court, they go through drug court, a program Budreau says helps to stop the cycle. "It's not just about arresting people and trying to arrest our way out of it it's about preventing it in the first place," he explained.