Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington State of Public Safety report finds overall crime dropped in 2020

<p>The IU Police Department crest is displayed on the gas tank of an IUPD motorcycle at the “Touch a Truck” event on July 2, 2018, in the Chick-fil-A parking lot on East Third Street. The City of Bloomington created a task force to review and make recommendations for policing, according to a press release Tuesday.</p>

The IU Police Department crest is displayed on the gas tank of an IUPD motorcycle at the “Touch a Truck” event on July 2, 2018, in the Chick-fil-A parking lot on East Third Street. The City of Bloomington created a task force to review and make recommendations for policing, according to a press release Tuesday.

There was a 6.69% decrease in overall crime in Bloomington according to data from the National Incident-based Reporting System shared during the State of Public Safety Report on Tuesday.

Most types of crime decreased in 2020, Bloomington Police Department Chief Michael Diekhoff said. However, there were three more cases of homicide last year with five in total. There were also increases in burglary, fraud and motor vehicle thefts.

Gun violence continued to rise last year in both Bloomington and the U.S. There was a 52% increase in crimes involving a gun and 77 guns were stolen last year. The report also found a gun was used in four out of five homicides.

Diekhoff reported a nearly 15% decrease in aggravated assault and attributed it to bars being closed and students being away from IU’s campus for much of the year. Previously, reports of aggravated assaults had been increasing for the past six years, Diekhoff said.

The BPD Training Division conducted more than 8,643 hours of in-service training in 2020 according to the report. This mostly virtual training was more than three times what is required by the state. BPD focused on de-escalation and anti-bias training in particular last year and will continue to do so Diekhoff said. 

BPD will hire two more social workers in the coming weeks in hopes of integrating more non-police personnel on staff. BPD currently employs one social worker. 

“We look forward to being able to interact with the public and return to those normal operations,” Diekhoff said.

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