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Report: Rochester's crime rate drops to a 40-year low

Report: Rochester's crime rate drops to a 40-year low

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Rochester's crime rate in 2014 was the lowest in four decades, according to a report released Monday by the police department.

The total number of crimes dropped from 5,850 in 2013 to 5,828 in 2014, a decrease of about 0.3 percent. When adjusted for a small population increase, the crime rate dropped by 1.4 percent.


Graphic: The Med City Beat / Data: Minnesota Department of Public Safety


Serious crime dropped from 2,780 in 2013 to 2,430 in 2014, a decrease of 12.6 percent. That was primarily due to a significant drop in larceny cases, according to the report. 

The number of violent crimes — murders, rapes, robberies and assaults — dropped by 5.6 percent. The department reported 52 robberies and 107 serious assaults in 2014.

Violent crime rates are 56 percent lower in Rochester than in other similar size cities in the U.S., notes the report. Property crime rates are 37 percent lower.

Here are some other highlights from the department's annual report:

  • There were 10 complaints against department staff in 2014. The majority of complaints were initiated by coworkers, not the general public.
  • The city created a police oversight commission to review and comment on the police department's policies, practices and procedures. The commission should be operational within the next few months.
  • The police department finished the year about $315,000 below budget.

Despite the decline in crime, Police Chief Roger Peterson is asking the council to fund 13 new positions in 2016. He requested 10 new positions in 2015 but only received funding for two new officers.

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(Cover graphic: Rochester Police Department)

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