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Chief says crime numbers in Steubenville can be misleading

Crime rates are getting better, but the keyword is slightly. In 2017 from January to October, 43 shots fired calls rang into the Steubenville Police Department. In 2018, only 40 so far. Both years had two homicides during the span.

In a city with a population smaller than some college campuses, there’s quite a bit of crime in Steubenville, according to a recently released annual crime rate report.

But the local police department, and even some residents, recognize its getting better despite some staggering statistics.

Approximately 18,000 people live in the city, making a red mark on the ADT crime heat map stand out among others, with crimes like murder showing 1.59 times the national average

In our local investigation, we looked into shots fired calls in the city, which, according to the police chief, are not always what you might expect.

"When we get shots fired calls, they could be multitude of reasons,” Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty said. “Down in the south end of town down where it buts lines with (the woods). Hunting is permitted, especially this time of year, we may get more just people hunting out in the county."

They also see more "false alarm" shots fired calls in the month of July because of Independence Day. In 2017, there were 10 false alarms. In 2018, there were 7.

"But sometimes we do find shell casings or other evidence of shots fired, but recently we’ve noticed less shots fired compared to last year," McCafferty said.

That supports the statements of several residents.

"With crime, I feel like they’re trying to do the best they can," Toronto resident Jeep Arcuraj said.

“In my opinion, I would say better,” Wintersville resident Paul O’Brien said. “We are definitely headed in the right direction."

Crime rates are getting better, but the keyword is slightly. In 2017 from January to October, 43 shots fired calls rang into the Steubenville Police Department.

In 2018, only 40 so far. Both years had two homicides during the span.

"It’s a shame the 13-year-olds to 22-year-olds are the ones doing the shootings,” McCafferty said. “The juveniles, especially, for whatever reason, they get their hands on guns, no value of human life, they just shoot."

These crime scenes supporting that notion. Two suspected shooters in Steubenville were ages 15 and 18.

The police chief says the city is doing what they can to keep it safe

"The prosecutor and the judges do excellent job so far, and our department’s done a good job. All we need is information and cooperation."

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