GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Despite having fewer officers on the street, the Grand Rapids Police Department seems to be having some success in holding crime down.
Statistics for the first six months of 2013 were released Tuesday. The figures show a 12.6% drop in major crime including robbery, assault and burglary. Burglary, larceny and arson took the biggest dips.
Violent crime was down 16.3% overall, but there were more rapes and the number of murders increased from 4 to 6.
Grand Rapids had 13 murders in the second half of 2012.
While the numbers are much improved, GRPD Chief Kevin Belk said bringing down the numbers of violent crimes involving youth remains a challenge.
"I don't know that there's a number that would be acceptable, so it's an area we continue working on. There's still far too many young people that are out there involved in violent crime, involved in gang behavior, using firearms to settle disputes that should be a compromise between two individuals," he said. "That's obviously something that we always remain concerned about."
What police call part two offenses, including non-aggravated assault, forgery and disorderly conduct were also down 11.7%.
GRPD crime stats
Vehicles occupied by a sheriff's deputy and a Michigan State Police motor carrier officer were hit.
A fire damaged three garages and some homes in a Grand Haven neighborhood early Thursday morning.
The suspects stole cash and fled the scene.