Cedar Falls Police say crime dropped in 2010 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls Police say crime dropped in 2010

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Dave Deibler opened his shop 16 years ago, and figured there was no better place for a funky store than College Hill.

"Really never thought of another location. All you have to do is look out the window to see the kind of traffic and the types of people who come through this part of town," he said.

Busy neighborhoods can bring more than big business. Wherever you find a lot of people, you'll generally find more crime. Cedar Falls, it seems, is bucking that trend.

"It's always seemed pretty safe to me," Deibler said. "I'm glad to hear it, as a business owner. You don't want anybody to be afraid to come to your business."

New statistics suggest neighborhoods and streets in Cedar Falls are the safest they've been in several years. The 2010 Crime Report shows overall crime down 15% from 2009. Compared with 2006, it's a 25% drop in crime in just four years.

These statistics are interesting for the average Cedar Falls resident. But they're also an important planning tool for police officers in 2011.

"We look at the trends and look at the number and where they're occurring and decide -- should we put some officers here at this particular time, do we need increased staffing at a particular time," said Cedar Falls Chief of Police Jeff Olson.

They're also focusing on preventing serious crime long before it happens. For example, they've cut vandalism down nearly 40%.

"We pay attention to the big stuff and the small stuff. But if you get on the small stuff early, it tends not to grow up to be the bigger stuff," Olson said.

It's the same attitude business owners like Deibler are taking to make Cedar Falls a community in which you want to work and live.

"You do lots of little things, it turns into big things. So, the new sidewalks and trees -- you don't think of those as anti-crime measures. But you make a place nicer and I think you have less problems. Because it shows that somebody cares," Deibler added.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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