ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico city is seeing a huge decline in crime across the board. From domestic violence calls, to DWIs and murder, the city of Roswell has had a more peaceful year.
Police believe there are plenty of reasons, but a big one is that people are keeping a better eye out for each other. The police department says the homicide rate dropped almost 60 percent after 12 homicides in 2016, followed by only five this past year.View Crime Stats for the City of Roswell >>
The number of robberies dropped by 38 percent and the number of DWIs fell by 20 percent. So what’s behind the decline?
“Reducing crime is a multifaceted operation and there’s just not one answer to why crime is being reduced,” said Richard Lucero, Roswell Police Neighborhood Watch Advisor.
Lucero believes one reason for the drop is the popularity of Crime Stoppers.
“This past year we had well over 100 valid tips that led to several dozen people being arrested, a lot of drugs being confiscated,” he explained.
While getting criminals off the streets plays a big role in preventing crime, so does the city’s neighborhood watch program.
“We give them safety training and we teach them to watch after each other. They know what suspicious cars don’t belong in their neighborhood, they know which ones do,” Lucero said.
People who live in Roswell have their own theories.
“RPD has their own page and I follow them. I keep their notifications on and you can see what’s going on in town,” said Raquel Bailey.
“The neighborhood I used to live in was a little sketchy and the one thing I grew up learning to do was to keep an eye out for all of the neighborhood, and right now where I currently live we all do a good job at that,” said Johnnie Lujan.
The police department is also crediting the decline to their increased public outreach through Facebook and events like “National Night Out” for the lower crime numbers.
Officers believe neighborhood watch signs have been making a big difference as well. They say some criminals have actually told them if they see a neighborhood watch sign they will go somewhere else because they don’t want to get caught.