Police, Neighborhood Associations Try to Curb Warm Weather Crime Spike

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

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By Nadia Crow

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- As temperatures rise, so does the crime rate. That trend is typical as burglars are considered 'fair weather thieves' with opportunities to steal from open garages or cars with the windows down. Compare January through April crimes stats from the past two years. You can see the mix. Assaults, Burglaries, and thefts are all down. But arrests and calls for service both went up.

Two organizations with a growing partnership now share the same building. The Cedar Rapids Police Department substation and the Cedar Rapids Neighborhoods make a united force against a trend of more crime in warmer months. Those crimes are normally petty crimes that increase over the summer that could lead to more serious crimes.

“There have been efforts in the core neighborhoods, not just in wellington heights, but all the core neighborhoods to reach out and encourage people to keep the neighborhoods safe,” said Cedar Rapids Neighborhoods President Erica Yoder.

To keep neighborhoods safe, you’ll see more police presence like officers on bike patrols strolling through your neighborhood.

“We can send them to parking lots and you're not going to see them coming and we can go to drug deals because they didn't see a patrol car pulling up,” said Cedar Rapids Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin.
But CRN President Erica Yoder says the community needs to do their own policing.

“Hopefully the message is getting out that people should say something if they see something,” said Yoder.

And recent numbers from the Cedar Rapids Police Department show residents are doing just that. Calls for service are up three percent.

“I want the crimes to quit, I want the burglaries to quit, and I want the thefts from vehicles the drugs to quit. How are you going to stop that if you're going to turn a blind eye to it?” asked Hamblin.

You can use your cell phone in multiple ways now to alert police if there's a problem in your neighborhood. You can call the anonymous tip line, you can text a tip, and even check out the CRPD's website.

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