John Justin, Sartell
Crime and crime rates matter, and numbers don’t lie.
As a Stearns County and Sartell resident and a Minnesota certified crime-prevention specialist, I am supporting Steve Soyka for Stearns County sheriff. Here’s why. Law-enforcement agencies in Minnesota report their crime information to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. That information is then provided to the FBI. Both agencies publish annual Uniform Crime Reports. They are easily viewable online. The UCR program’s primary objective is to generate reliable information for use in law-enforcement administration, operation and management; throughout the years, however, the data has become one of the country’s leading social indicators.
People decide where to live, raise and educate children, work, open a business, vacation, shop or obtain lodging when traveling based on crime and crime rates. One individual city’s high crime rate can impact the entire Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Twenty years ago, my decision to buy a home and reside in Sartell was foremost based on low crime and crime rates. The UCRs for the last 10 years reflect Sartell has consistently maintained low crime rates. Conversely, Waite Park’s crime rates have been the highest in the area and in the top five or 10 every year for cities of all sizes in Minnesota; and very high for cities of similar sizes nationwide. In cities with low crime rates, residents, their elected officials and police administrators rightfully take pride in and highlight their crime-rate information. In cities with the highest crime rates public discussion is avoided and crime-rate relevance is downplayed. Crime, crime rates and facts matter to me more than good-old-boy endorsements and campaign signs placed on vacant lots. That is why I will be voting for Steve Soyka for Stearns County sheriff.