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  • Edición impresa de Noviembre 1, 2011

Violent crime in Goshen becomes political

GOSHEN -- Violent crime in Goshen has become political in the race for mayor. But is crime in Goshen really rising?

__It's fall in the Maple City, but along with turning leaves, yellow tape has become a common site in some Goshen neighborhoods. In October, Goshen saw its first murders in four years.

The killing of hotel owner Ken Patel and the murder of Goshen College Professor James Miller.

__Now, 10 days before the election, crime in Goshen has become a political position.

__"I've called this news conference to talk about the recent spike in Goshen and surrounding area," said City Councilman and Republican candidate for mayor, Don Riegsecker, in a news conference outside of the Goshen Police Department on Friday.

__He said he plans to increase police transparency, try to rid the city of gangs and increase the police presence, because of an increase in violent crime.

"When I am elected mayor of Goshen, I pledge to make the safety of our citizens my number one concern, that after all is the job of the mayor, not to make sure the citizens feel safe, but to make sure they are safe," Riegsecker said.

But has crime in Goshen really been rising?

According to the FBI, there hadn't been a murder in Goshen since 2006 and violent crime between 2006 and 2010 actually dropped.

The FBI reports 77 incidents of violent crime in 2006. That number dropped to 42 in 2010. But during that same time, burglaries and property crime have been on a steady rise.

Riegsecker admitted he was not aware of the statistics. He said he has become concerned with crime because of what he has read in the newspaper and what citizens have talked to him about.Riegsecker also said he has not been in contact with the police chief to see what the trends in crime have been.

In a news conference shortly after, Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman (D), said he believes Riegsecker is using the recent murders as a political ploy.

"I don't think it helps the community or the family when somebody comes in and exploits something like this for something that is apparently just purely political gain," Kauffman said.

__Kauffman said violent crime in Goshen is on track to be about the same as 2010 and he continues to reassure those who live in the city that Goshen is still a good place to live.

"It is still the same community that it was a few weeks ago and things packed together don't change that," he said.

Mayor Kauffman says property crime is on track to be higher this year. He attributes those numbers to the bad economy.

SBT

 


 

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