The Wheat Ridge Police Department has spent the past few months making a concerted effort to inform you about criminal incidents that are occurring in our city, primarily on our various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor. We believe making sure you know how our officers spend their shifts in terms of what kinds of calls we respond to as well as alerting you to safety issues in your neighborhood are imperative to building and maintaining trusting relationships with you, the people we are tasked with protecting.
But in doing so, you may feel as though suddenly there’s been an uptick in crime in Wheat Ridge. While we understand that perception, that’s simply not the case. In fact, the opposite is true; while violent crime may be on the rise in other jurisdictions both locally and nationally, crime here is stagnant and even on the decline in many categories.
To put that in perspective, let’s take a closer look at some of the most serious crimes. Through July of 2022, WRPD officers responded to 20 robberies, whereas during this same time period in 2021 that number was 27. We’ve seen an even more significant reduction in aggravated felony assault calls with the number dropping from 53 between January and July of 2021 to 33 for that same time period this year. The five-year average for aggravated felony assaults during the first seven months of the calendar year is just slightly higher than 68, so our 2022 numbers are drastically reduced. We see this same pattern of reduction between 2021 and 2022 across the board for burglaries, frauds and forgeries, and criminal trespass calls.
That’s not to say there isn’t a rise in any crime – motor vehicle thefts across the state of Colorado are a massive problem and continue to plague the Wheat Ridge community as well. While we saw a small drop in reports from 2021 to 2022 (297 to 279), we’ve seen a substantial jump in the last two years when compared to the five-year average of 196 in the first seven months of the year.
The Wheat Ridge Police Department continues to participate in C-MATT, the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force, which works to identify and arrest prolific motor vehicle theft suspects. The agencies in Jefferson County are proud to have a very high vehicle-recovery rate within 30 days following a reported theft; it’s jumped from 73 percent in 2020 to an 85 percent recovery rate across the county in 2022.
Wheat Ridge continues to be a very busy department, fielding approximately 44,000 calls for service every year. And while the vast majority of those calls are not for violent crimes, we respond to every single one with professionalism, vigilance, and your safety as our top priorities.
Joanna Small is the Wheat Ridge Police Department’s Public Information Officer.