City crime rate drops 11%

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
This graphic from the Leavenworth Police Department's annual report illustrates the number of crimes reported to the department between 2011 and 2020. The graphic categorizes crimes as Part 1 crimes and Part 2 crimes. Part 1 crimes are murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and theft. Part 2 crimes are all other crimes.

The crime rate for the city of Leavenworth decreased by 11% in 2020, according to the police chief.

Chief Pat Kitchens reviewed the Leavenworth Police Department’s annual report for 2020 with city commissioners Tuesday.

Kitchens said 2020 was the second year in a row to have a significant drop in the city’s crime rate.

According to the annual report, there were 3,558 crimes recorded by the Leavenworth Police Department in 2020 compared to 4,029 crimes in 2019.

Kitchens said crimes nationally are categorized into Part 1 and Part 2 crimes. Part 1 crimes are murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and theft. Part 2 crimes are all other crimes.

The Leavenworth Police Department investigated 1,902 Part 1 crimes in 2020 compared to 1,933 in 2019. The department investigated 1,656 Part 2 crimes in 2020 compared to 2,096 in 2019.

The Leavenworth Police Department’s clearance rate, or the percentage of cases solved, for Part 1 crimes was 53.7% in 2020.

“That’s a little bit higher than the national average,” Kitchens said.

The clearance rate for Part 2 crimes in 2020 was 70.2%.

The department’s overall clearance rate for 2020 was 61.37%.

“This is in line with the national average,” Kitchens said.

The chief noted there were three homicides in the city in 2020.

“That’s pretty high for us,” he said.

Two of the homicide cases have resulted in criminal charges. Kitchens said he is happy with the progress that has been made in the third case.

Kitchens said reports of stolen cars were up last year in Leavenworth.

“We’ve had a lot of stolen cars,” he said.

He said the best thing people can do to prevent vehicle thefts is to lock their cars and not leave the keys inside the vehicles.

Arrests made by officers of the Leavenworth Police Department were down last year. Officers made 1,427 arrests in 2020 compared to 1,893 in 2019.

“This is directly tied to COVID,” Kitchens said of the decrease.

He said officers issued warnings for some minor issues last year instead of making arrests. He said placing people under arrest in these cases could have put officers and jail staff at risk for COVID-19.

Kitchens said the Police Department’s annual report will be published on the city government’s website, www.leavenworthks.org, possibly as early as today.

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Received a quarterly report about the Leavenworth school district.

• Received an annual report about the Leavenworth Main Street Program.