Crime Down in Waterloo for 2023
These outcomes build on a crime reduction from the previous year of 2022, when crime in Waterloo went down just under 4% at 3.99% and property crime dipped 8.39%.
In 2023, the WPD recovered just over 200 firearms, down from nearly 250 in 2022. The firearms recovered were used in the commission of a crime or possessed by prohibited persons. Crimes related to firearms also followed a downward trend, with a 55% reduction in shooting injuries.
Homicides also saw a significant decrease from nine to three. There was a small reduction in overall traffic accidents, but an increase in traffic fatalities.
Our community continues to deal with problems impacting many jurisdictions nationwide, like opioid addiction and overdoses. In 2022, WPD investigated six drug overdose deaths, with seven fatal overdose investigations this past year. Overdose deaths are investigated by the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force and can result in Federal Prosecution.
The now fully-staffed Waterloo Police Department continues to work with local, state and federal partners to address crime from both an enforcement, prevention and deterrence model. The department reached full sworn staffing as authorized by the Waterloo City Council. This milestone was achieved due to the hard work and support of elected officials, city and police staff and the community.
“These new officers are fine examples of the professionalism we expect from each officer within the organization, and have joined our veteran officers in providing an excellent professional police service. We continue to seek and hire the highest quality employees to work within our agency,” says Chief Joe Leibold.
This year brought expanded training opportunities thanks to the Waterloo Police Racial Equity Training Fund. WPD provided Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Training from Leader Valley along with Law Enforcement Ethics Training presented by the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center through Drake University, under the Josephson Exemplary Policing Initiative. Both trainings were well received by all employees.
“Our focus in 2024 is to work each day to have a positive impact on the community we serve. We are committed to providing fair, transparent, professional police services in a manner that promotes relationship building, integrity, diversity and inclusion,” adds Leibold.
Click here to view the entire report on the Waterloo Police's website.