Longview police last year increased felony drug arrests by 30 percent, marking another successful year for the department's Street Crimes Unit. But Chief Jim Duscha said more needs to be done for traffic collisions.
An annual police report presented to City Council on Thursday night showed significant increases in the amount of drugs seized, felony warrants issued and arrests by the Street Crimes detectives. Longview's crime rate is currently well above the state average, but the city is headed "in the right direction," the chief told the Longview City Council Thursday night.
The calls for service compared to the city's population show "we are by far and away the busiest department in this county," Duscha said. Calls for service decreased 6 percent compared to 2015, but the ratio of calls to people in the jurisdiction is much higher than that of Kelso or the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office.
Vehicle collisions increased by 8 percent and traffic citations decreased 13 percent. Duscha said citizens think they can get away with running a red light or speeding, and "we need to change that mentality."
"I think once you start seeing stronger traffic enforcement, more citations, those collisions are going to start going down again," Duscha said at the council meeting.
Domestic violence decreased 24 percent last year, but forcible rapes increased by 37 percent. Vehicle thefts rose 40 percent, robberies 14 percent and burglaries 12 percent.
Shoplifting decreased 39 percent, aggravated assault 22 percent, weapons offenses 12 percent and malicious mischief 13 percent.