Rochester Police Departments releases its annual 2023 crime report

Crime in Rochester on decline in 2023

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(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Police Department has released it’s 2023 report for crime in the Med City.

While overall crime saw a decline from 2022 before, there was an increase in crisis and trespassing calls.

Captain Aaron Penning of the Rochester Police Department attributes the decline in overall numbers to the department’s more proactive approach and stabilization in staff turnover.

Part of the overall decline in crime comes from fewer drug seizures. Rochester police seized 9.57 pounds of fentanyl in 2023, down from a staggering 79.9 pounds the year before.

“I think our strategies [are] getting more aligned with how fentanyl is getting into the community,” said Penning.

Enhanced technology has made it easier both RPD and the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office to crack down on fentanyl.

“There’s different tools that are valuable to law enforcement, there just wasn’t a few years ago,” said Captain Tim Parkin, of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office. “Some of them are enhanced detection of controlled substances through various methods some of them are detection of residues of controlled substances that were in one point in time on something that may not be there anymore.”

Along with the decline in drug seizures, the number of overdose calls is down too. Penning says that could be linked to more access to medication.

“I know many businesses and personal, private citizens are carrying NARCAN. They’re addressing these overdoses on their own as a problem within the community,” he said.

There were a total of 1,998 in 2023 up 18% from the total in 2022. But RPD says there are now more resources available to help with those calls.

— RELATED: Breakdown of law enforcement’s annual 2022 crime report shows violent crime on the rise

“We want to be responsive to all of these calls with a person in crisis but we’re balancing the response and if the law enforcement response isn’t necessary or appropriate. Our social workers have done very well with taking the lead on that,” Penning said.

Another increase, trespassing, which went up from 272 calls to 441 in 2023. Many of those calls were regarding people experiencing homelessness. Penning says, with a new city ordinance on the table, the numbers should go back down in 2024.

“A lot of that is developing strategy. So, see an uptick in the trespassing statistics, we’re hoping that ultimately leads to a decrease in those same statistics once we’ve educated people on where they can and cannot be and we’ve directed them to resources,” Penning said.

You can read the full 2023 report below.