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Mixed feelings from chief after SJPD releases annual crime report

Police Chief Chris Connally says "It's not all good, It's not all bad."

Posted: Jan 17, 2020 8:50 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2020 8:23 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph Police Department released its annual crime report documenting the city's crime statistics for 2019.

Chris Connally, chief of the department, said he wants to make sure its constantly bringing crime numbers down.

"No matter what the numbers are, our goal is to reduce them even more," he said.

The results of the crime report revealed a reduction in many areas including, index crimes, murder, aggravated assault, and violent crime.

While he called the positives of the report's findings significant, Connally expressed mixed feelings about the findings as a whole.
"It’s not all good, it’s not all bad." He said.

Aside from the many categories of crimes that decreased in 2019, Motor Vehicle Thefts saw a 12% increase.

650 vehicle thefts occurred in the city last year, compared to 579 in 2018 according to the report.

Connally shared his thoughts on how he, his department and the city can work together to bring that number down.

"We still have work to do on the prevention and education end," He said, adding that many of the thefts were the result of owners leaving keys in the car, and/or leaving them running during the winter months.

Connally said his focus when it comes to tackling the issue of auto thefts is not only on car owners but on the offenders as well, he added many thieves find stolen vehicles in many different ways and it's important that police can effectively track them all down.

"The bottom line is we have to do everything we can to hold these people accountable," He said, "regardless of how they got that automobile."

The results of the crime report are more than just numbers on a page to the chief, he says each one represents a person.

"Each one of these numbers affected a citizen in our community," Connally said, "it's important to be sensitive to that."

Arson, burglary and stealing crimes also decreased, according to the report.

St. Joseph
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Bitter cold temperatures have returned to the area with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero this morning. Temperatures will struggle to warm up today with highs in the 20s under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will slowly start to warm throughout the rest of the work week as dry weather continues. The weekend looks to be mild and sunny with highs in the 40s.
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