Marion Police Department have been busy working almost 200 more criminal cases than this time last year. Chief Tyler Mermis blames the rise on good police work.
“It’s something that goes up every year,” he said. “We’re busy but it’s a good problem to have because it means we’re getting out and doing our job better.”
So far this year the department has logged 704 cases such as domestic battery, assaults, disorderly conduct, criminal damage, child in need of care, burglaries, and thefts. Last year by this time there were only 533 criminal cases. Those numbers have jumped from the 363 cases the department took in 2010.
“Since we’ve started taking a proactive approach towards policing the community, the number has risen,” Mermis said. “People here need to know if they do something illegal, they’re going to get caught.”
Mermis also believes the declining economy also may have something to do with it.
“People lose their jobs and don’t have anything to do, so they get desperate,” he said. “People start stealing things to sell and make money and breaking into houses, or selling drugs to put money in their pockets. Things get high stress at home and people don’t know how to handle it.”
He said the number of cases can look good or bad to certain people.
“Some people look at it and think your town has a lot of crime,” he said. “I look at it like our guys are out on the streets seeing and catching more to make the town safer.”
Mermis wants residents to know the department will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
“This rise should tell people that, the city is trying to help the town grow, city workers are trying to keep the town functioning and nice, and the law enforcement officers are going above and beyond to make Marion a safe place to live and raise a family,” he said.