It’s frustrating to see news reports that rank Colorado as the number one state in the nation for car theft, or that there was a significant spike in crime for 2020. A mayoral candidate asserts that Erie is a place where “criminals break into your car, steal packages from your porch, and vandalize your property.” But is crime in Erie really that bad? The Erie Police Department just released their 2021 annual report, so let’s take a look at the numbers:

From the raw numbers, we had fewer sexual offenses, assaults, and burglaries, but more thefts (vehicular, in particular) and criminal mischief. What is the police department doing about it? According to the 2022 Strategic Plan, objective number one is the reduction of neighborhood crime. The department plans to achieve this by “special enforcement efforts deploying unmarked teams into neighborhoods during high crime times.” If that answer seems vague, it’s for the same reason that criminals don’t tweet their plans either.

Is Erie Safe?

According to the following statistics, Erie is safer than most cities in Colorado and the nation. While there was a spike in sexual assaults in 2020, that number was greatly reduced in 2021, from 15 to 9. Erie is safer than most other Colorado municipalities.

2020 Violent Crime per 1,000 Residents0.931.034.264Neighborhood Scout
2020 Property Crime per 1,000 Residents10.8528.9428.5119Neighborhood Scout
2020 Crimes per Square Mile20665126.9Neighborhood Scout
2020 Assaults per 100k People49.666.9286.9279.7Area Vibes
2020 Rapes per 100k People42.620.962.938.4Area Vibes
2020 Robberies per 100k People7.118.168.373.9Area Vibes
2020 Vehicle Theft per 100k People109.9374.7524.3246.0Area Vibes

Here is more evidence from news outlets and other web sites that aggregate crime data:

  • Erie is significantly safer than major cities like Aurora, Denver, and Colorado Springs.
  • There hasn’t been a murder in Erie since 2017, so the increase in murders in 2020 for the United States really doesn’t apply to us.
  • According to Area Vibes, Erie receives an A+ rating, with total crime 46% lower than the national average, violent crime 74% lower than the national average, and property crime 41% lower than the national average.
  • Erie’s overall crime rate is 66% lower than the overall crime rate in Colorado.

In summary, I have full confidence in Police Chief Kim Stewart and the fine officers under her command. We thank you for your service to our community.