Is crime really getting out of hand in Evansville or does it just appear that way?


With so much crime happening within just a few days in Evansville, some may be wondering if crime is on the rise.

Tuesday night, there was a deadly shooting involving an Evansville firefighter on Oakley Street. Then on Wednesday morning, there was another shooting and a police chase.

So, is crime really getting out of hand or does it just appear that way?

“It shows that no community is above crime,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

Mayor Winnecke called the past few days in his city a ‘tough and emotional time,’ but he added the chances of being a victim of a random crime in Evansville are very rare.

“A lot of time when there is crime, it is a criminal on criminal offense,” said Mayor Winnecke. “That’s difficult to police.”

But, he says new policing methods and programs like EPD’s Viper Unit are making strides.  Homicides across the city were down, the Mayor says in 2018 from the year before.

“The crime that we have in a year in Evansville, Indiana, happens this weekend in Chicago,” said Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin.

Bolin has been keeping an eye on the city’s crime stats during his 21 years on the force.

“Is it a little bit worse today than it was 20 years ago? Yes,” said Bolin. “Is it grossly different than it was 20 years ago? No, it’s not.”

But the chief said there is one reason it appears there’s more crime taking place today and it has to do with our smartphones.

“The news, you would have reported when we had a murder, but now people are seeing every shots fired run on their social media,” said Chief Bolin. “As soon as something happens, it’s everywhere. Everybody’s sharing it. Social media is a good tool, but we all are aware of everything that goes on that as police officers I was aware of 20 years ago, but most of the public didn’t know about every little run we had.”

Chief Bolin said just because a few violent events happen within hours of each other doesn’t mean more crime is taking place.

He says, in fact the numbers show that Evansville is still a very safe city.

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(This story was originally published on February 27, 2019)

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