Lately, it seems San Angelo's crime is skyrocketing at an alarming rate.

So what's really going on?

Every day we are reading about the traffic accidents, shootings, stabbings, and rapes going on in San Angelo. It seems like our community is becoming a less safe environment.

I wanted to find out the statistics and what's attributing to the talked about, "increase in crime." I made a quick call to the San Angelo Police Department and got connected with the officer who deals mostly with the statistics of crime in San Angelo Jeff Fant, and I was surprised to find out the numbers.

The ratio of officers per citizen is calculated 1 officer per 1,000 citizens. Currently, our population is about 95,500. We have 165 officers in San Angelo. Now, I'm whipping out the math here, the ratio of officers to citizens is 1.67 to 1,000. Now, ideally for our region SAPD would like to see a ratio of 1.8 - 2.0 officers per 1,000.

Now here is the shocker, even though the officer per citizen ratio is not where the department would like it to be. The crime rate in San Angelo is actually down, and not just a little, significantly. 42% to be exact according to the UCR.

"The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) are official data on crime in the United States, published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). UCR is "a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of nearly 18,000 cities, university, and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention."

In 2004, the UCR for the crime rate in San Angelo was 7010.1 reported incidents. By 2014 the UCR reported was 4147.6 reported incidents. But it doesn't change the fact we feel like there was an increase.

I asked about traffic accidents. My Nixle text messages are received on a daily basis. But again according to the data, there is not much of an increase in accidents. In 2012, there were 3,098 reported accidents. In 2015, there were 3,273 reported accidents. In three years, traffic accidents increased 175 incident reports annually, which is normal when you have an increase in population as well.

So I asked one last question, "does the media attribute to the consciousness of crime rate?" The answer is, yes. We have many news outlets and citizen journalism who attribute to the awareness of crime in our community. The awareness then turns to fear, and before we know it our community seems like it's going to hell in a handbasket.

But it's not.

We are simply more aware of our surroundings because we have more news resources available to us.

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