JCPD: Overall crime rate not on rise despite 2018 murders

Junction City had four murders in 2018 after three years without murder, but Junction City Police Department Capt. Tricia Giordano said overall crime isn't on the rise.

Junction City saw four murders in 2018, but that doesn’t mean overall crime is trending up, police said.

Violent crime is trending upward in Kansas, according to a report from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

KBI’s report for 2018 saw an increase of about 5.3% in violent crimes, which includes murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assault and battery. The same report states that the violent crime rate is 16.5% above the 10-year average.

Only six months of 2018 crime statistics for Junction City were available in KBI’s aggregate report. Junction City Police Department Capt. Tricia Giordano says the department only sent in half of the year’s statistics due to a change in the department’s crime recording software. However, she said the department did keep track of 2018 statistics separately, and she said the department would provide those statistics to The Union later this week.

In general, reported crime in Junction City was relatively flat in 2018 compared to 2017, Giordano said, with the exception of reported murders.

After three years without murders, Giordano said the department handled four homicides in 2018, but that there were only three actual incidents. Two men were charged for two separate murders in a Christmas Eve shooting that left a pregnant woman and her unborn child dead.

Giordano said arrests had been made in each incident, and despite the sudden increase in murders, she said the department did not necessarily see any upward trend in the non-related murders.

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