Fargo Police say 2022 overall crime down compared to 2021
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Fargo Police Department crime statistics shows a slight decrease in overall offenses against people last year.
But Chief David Zibolski noted increases in both aggravated assault and rape.
Zibolski says the 2021 property crime numbers were especially high across Fargo and his department made a concerted effort to bring numbers down in 2022.
The report says burglaries were down 24% in Fargo in 2022. But, the number of aggravated assaults and rapes rose 22%.
Zibolski says one place where police could improve? It’s working with people suffering from mental health crises.
He says there aren’t enough personnel or resources for mental health services and says it’s part of a broader issue across the country.
Zibolski says over the last four months, 4% of the department’s nearly 28,000 calls for service were mental health-related.
26% of those calls that were just under one thousand calls were in reference to the same ten people.
“We’re caught continuing to go to these calls and trying to deal with folks who have crisis or issues. It’s frustrating for the officers, it’s frustrating for the community when, in some instances, we can’t make an arrest or the person is taken for mental health evaluation and the victim is left with the victimization of property damage or the fear that some of these folks may cause when they find themself in a crisis situation,” said Zibolski.
According to police, since 2019, 96 people have died from drug overdose and the chief does not predict those numbers to improve.
He says even those numbers are underreported because friends and family can help save a life using Narcan.
Zibolski is calling on the medical community to help find solutions for drug overdose treatment.
“The supply far outweighs the enforcement ability and it also far outweighs the ability on the other side of the coin for adequate treatment facilities to get folks unaddicted. Outpatient treatment is not a solution. It’s not been working, data shows that and we need to have, on the med community side, some new ideas on what we’re going to do with overdoses.”
Zibolski says the police’s reliance on Narcan is a growing concern especially when trying to combat drugs in which Narcan is ineffective.