Despite recent spike, latest stats show crime rate decrease in Marshalltown

Over the course of Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper’s 21-year career in law enforcement he’s found that some crime comes in cycles.

“You see spikes and then you see periods where crime is very low,” Tupper said. “Nobody really pays attention when nothing is happening.”

However, Tupper is quick to point out that he shares the concerns of local residents that have seen several significant crimes in the past few weeks.

Tuesday’s homicide investigation is the second murder in Marshalltown this year. September was marked with several high-profile crimes – the attempted murder of a teenager, an armed robbery at a convenience store and a woman robbed at gunpoint at the mall.

But despite the uptick, crime rates in Marshalltown have declined the past two years, Tupper said. The 2012 annual report for the department showed several positives signs, including a decline in both burglary and theft cases.

“The last three or four weeks in our community is not what we like to see or what we typically see,” he said. “If you look back at the history of this community, homicides are fairly rare.”

Moreover, Tupper said when serious crimes do occur, police are solving crimes quickly.

“The staff of the police department is working very hard, very diligently and resolving them very quickly,” he said. “You don’t see significant crimes going unsolved for long periods of time.”

In addition the recent incidents, in 2012 the police department made swift arrests for a homicide, arson fire and an armed bank robbery in which an officer was shot.

Tupper said Marshalltown is a safe place and he doesn’t have concerns about the overall safety for the community.

The most concerning and frequent crime the police department deals with is domestic violence, he said.

“We’re not seeing a lot of random crime where people have to be worried about walking the streets,” he said. “I’m proud to call Marshalltown home. I wouldn’t raise my family here if it wasn’t a safe place to be.”