Rapid City Police Department releases crime statistics for 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - Fewer arrests and more warnings is the way the Rapid City Police Department seems to have handled the crimes in 2018.

But aggravated assault in 2018 is at it's highest rate in seven years, with nearly 380 cases. Chief of Police Karl Jegeris says north of Omaha Street is the main problem area.

Jegeris also says 2018 was a record year for the most drug arrests. A problem that is even leading into 2019 with the increase in meth-related crimes.

"I think that we really do need to focus on deterring repeat drug users from continuing to use. There's got to be a consequence for some people that are that deep into the drug culture to change their behavior. And that's something we certainly have lost over the last several years," says Jegeris.

Violent crimes like arson, robbery, burglary and homicides went down.

The November #9pmRoutine to remind people to lock their cars may have helped lower the rate of thefts. Social media was used then and Jegeris plans to use it even more now.

"I think that's the platform that we'll continue to use. But the more that we can to educate our community to take precautions to prevent themselves from becoming victims. It does have a direct correlation to a reduction in crime," says Jegeris.

Jegeris says car services like Lyft have helped lower the rate for DUI arrests by 10 percent since 2017.