Duluth Police Chief: Crime Numbers Concerning; Not Alarming

By KBJR News 1

July 11, 2013 Updated Jul 11, 2013 at 10:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- With two homicides in the city already this year, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says while the numbers are concerning, Duluthians shouldn't be alarmed.

Despite two fatal stabbings in the first six months of this year, the Police Chief says violent crime numbers are significantly lower than years past.

So far in 2013, Duluth has seen four stabbings, two of them fatal, three shootings, and two armed robberies. There were two homicides in Duluth in 2012.

On Thursday, Chief Ramsay presented current and historical crime numbers to the council per their request.

Year-over-year homicide numbers show 2013, so far, is at or below historical averages, with 2003 seeing the peak number of five homicides in recent years.

But some of the councilors were concerned on the increased number of police calls this year alone at an estimated 95,000, up from a total of 85,394 in 2012.

Ramsay said many of the calls his department has responded to in the past seven months involved synthetic drug related disturbances.

"Our violent crime is down for the most part. We've seen property crime increases go up, we're seeing some increases in nuisance type behavior associated with the use of synthetics," said Duluth Police Chief, Gordon Ramsay.

Chief Ramsay added that many of the crimes that his department has responded to in the past several months have been from habitual offenders, saying it's these repeat offenders who are driving the city crime numbers up.

Ramsay said he is confident with the two new ordinances that went into effect Thursday, his department should see a drop in the number of nuisance calls.

Jeremy Brickley