The 2016 Crime Report is out for Brookings County, and the numbers just might take you by surprise.
Case files are piling up, keeping Brookings County State’s Attorney’s Abigail Howard busy.
“It’s not uncommon for the majority of my staff to be putting in overtime every single week,” Howard said.
Howard just recently released this past year’s crime statistics. The numbers show felony convictions are at an all-time high.
” In 2015 we had 148 and in 2016 we had 245 and that’s significant for us on a variety of levels,” Howard said.
According to the report, some of the biggest increases are in drug-related crimes and domestic assaults.
There’s also a rise in felonies among youth in the county. Sexual crimes and animal cruelty are becoming more of a problem for juveniles.
“It’s very concerning for us obviously when juveniles are getting to the point where they’re committing felonies, let alone causing harm to an animal or human,” Howard said.
Several local residents said they haven’t noticed the uptick in crime. Most say they’re confident Brookings is still a safe community.
Howard believes there’s a reason for that.
“The majority of our community is not often exposed to the criminal behavior. They probably don’t even know about the majority of it because we try to really rein it in and address it as soon as we can,” Howard said. While Howard said there’s no way to pinpoint the reason for the types of felony cases rising, Brookings’ ever-growing population could be a cause for the county’s overall rise in crime.