The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Jeremy Burnham
Reporter 

New report shows crime in Ritzville down

Annual report shows Ritzville's reported crime rate dropped by 5.9% in 2018

 

Journal photo by Jeremy Burnham

The Ritzville Police Department. According to an annual report from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, Ritzville ended 2018 with 191 reported crimes, down from 203 in 2017, a drop of 5.9%.

The crime rate in Ritzville dropped by 5.9% in 2018 in comparison to 2017, according to the Crime in Washington Annual Report released by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Ritzville ended the year with 191 reported crimes, down from 203 in 2017. The crime rate for the year was 115.1.

The crime rate is the number of crimes per 1,000 people in the city. While Ritzville's rate is down, it is still appreciably higher than the only other city in Adams County, Othello.

While Othello had many more crimes in 2018 (570), its crime rate per 1,000 people was lower (68.9).

In encouraging news for Ritzville, two of its highest crime rate categories saw big drops in 2018. Burglary complaints dropped from 41 to 32 and larceny, the most commonly reported crime in the city, dropped from 62 to 48. These represented drops of 22% percent in each area.

The most notable category to see an increase was fraud offenses rising 50%, from 16 reported offenses to 24.

A quick glance at the report shows other gains, but context is important. For example, the report shows a 200% increase in aggravated assault. This may sound high, however, the increase is from one incident to three. The crime rate per 1,000 people for aggravated assault is still very low at 1.8.

Ritzville's 5.9% crime drop marks a reversal of a recent trend in the city that has seen crime rates grow for three consecutive years. According to past editions of the Crime in Washington Annual Report, crime rose in 2017 by 13.5%, in 2016 by 7.2% and in 2015 by 47.3%

Before that, in 2014, Ritzville saw an 18.4% decline in crime.

The report tracks crime by law enforcement agency. In Adams County, Ritzville and Othello are the only cities, and are subsequently the only communities that have their own police departments. Towns, like Lind and Washtucna, and unincorporated communities like Benge, are patrolled by the Adams County Sheriff's Office. The report combines crimes in all of their areas into a report for the Sheriff's office.

Areas patrolled by the Adams County Sheriff's Office saw an 8.4% drop in crime. Total crimes reported dropped from 498 to 456. The crime rate per 1,000 people was 45.2.

In these areas, Drug/Narcotic Violations dropped 65.4% from 52 to 18 reported offenses. In a related category, Drug Equipment Violations dropped 57.9% from 19 to 8. Meanwhile, Destruction of Property incidents climbed 25% from 84 to 105.

Statewide, the report shows crime declined by 0.9%. The crime rate per 1,000 people was 69.5.

 

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