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Harrisonburg Police Department sees lowered crime in 2020

Lieutenant Phillip Read with the department said this could be for a number of reasons.
Harrisonburg Police Department sees lowered crime in 2020
Harrisonburg Police Department sees lowered crime in 2020(WHSV)
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 10:53 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Virginia State Police released its annual crime analysis report.

The “Crime in Virginia” report breaks down what crimes were committed throughout the Commonwealth.

Overall, VSP reports violent crimes are down almost two percent compared to 2019 in Virginia.

The Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD) said they saw a lower amount of crime in 2020 than in 2019 in the city.

Lieutenant Phillip Read with the department said this could be for a number of reasons, but one could be that the department has been using a tactic called “hotspot policing.”

Read said how it works is HPD uses crime data to pinpoint areas where a crime happens frequently within the city then they place more officers in those locations.

He said they have been using this method for a few years but the pandemic reinforced the need to maximize their resources.

“We’ve learned to better utilize our resources over 2020. It’s been difficult with the pandemic, with people working from home, with students working from home, and learning from home. All ages. We had to navigate through all that and how crime is going to react to those different situations,” Read said.

According to the Crime in Virginia report, there have been 73 reported offenses of burglary/ breaking and entering, 317 reported offenses of destruction/damage/vandalism of property, and 310 reported offenses of narcotic/drug violations in the city.

Read said they will continue to use the model to try and lower crime in the city.

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