Violent crime up in Poughkeepsie
Violent crime in Poughkeepsie jumped about four percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the same time a year ago, according to stats from the State Division of Criminal Services. As YNN's John Wagner reports, while police say overall crime is about the same from last year, the numbers worry some residents.
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Teresa Berry has lived on Academy Street for 20 years. She bought in because of the beauty of the neighborhood, but now with two children, it's not as pretty with violence nearby.
"I have to watch them at all times. I have to make sure my eyes are on them because it's just not a safe area," Berry said.
According to the State Division of Criminal Services, violent crime is up in Poughkeepsie. While rapes, murders and burglaries have gone down, there's a 23 percent jump in aggravated assaults from the same time last year. Some of that comes from a redefining of domestic choking incidents.
"As a result, when we do a training like we did last fall, our cases go up because now we're doing a better reporting, we're doing a better mandated arrest," said City of Poughkeepsie Police Chief Ron Knapp.
"The overall crime index rose a little over one percent. Poughkeepsie's police chief says the jump in violent crime numbers results from a tough economy, better police training and newer, stricter laws.
Knapp said, "No one strategy works. The public piece, our guys being aggressive, the foot patrols, the camera project that we're working on now, you put them together, overall that's what's going to be the most effective strategy."
Police say violent crime is still down from what is was five years ago, but residents say they too often see things they wish they didn't.
"More than my share of drug deals on the corners,” Brian Corbley said. “There's definitely a tension in Poughkeepsie that I don’t feel in other places."
"It’s not getting any better. I don't want to live here much anymore because I have two children and I want them to have a happy childhood and be able to go out in the yard and play," Berry said.