By Holly Cook
Roeland Park’s crime rate is at a 10-year low, Chief of Police John Morris told the city council Monday.
The city experienced a crime index of 26.5 in 2017, which was a 30 percent decrease over 2016. The next-lowest index within the last 10 years occurred in 2009.
Morris said he wouldn’t have information on how Roeland Park’s rate compares with neighboring cities until this summer.
In 2017 there were 178 reported incidents in Roeland Park. Almost 80 percent, or 138, of these were due to theft.
Vehicle thefts accounted for an additional 23 reports and were up 35 percent over the previous year. There were also nine reported burglaries, five aggravated assaults, two robberies and one rape. The city hasn’t experienced a homicide since 2011.
A full summary of the crime statistics for the city is below:
Mayor Mike Kelly commended Chief Morris.
“Having the lowest crime rate in Roeland Park is in no small part based on your leadership,” Kelly said.
Last week the RPPD put a Retail Crime Enforcement Unit into service. Police hope the vehicle will increase law enforcement visibility and decrease theft in the city’s business district along Roe Blvd.
Morris invited councilmembers to sign up for a ride along so they could experience the new unit firsthand.