Duluth Police Offer 2022 Year-End Public Safety Report
A lot happened over the past year - both good and bad. Like many organizations, the Duluth Police Department has wrapped up 2022 a review of the last twelve months. To provide transparency, the department offered a Year End Public Safety Report.
The report was shared with the public during an open meeting session, held January 5 in the Public Safety Building's training room. Duluth Police Chief Mike Ceynowa and Duluth Mayor Emily Larson both participated in the presentation.
Chief Ceynowa addressed the struggles and accomplishments that the department faced, while also looking forward:
"2022 was a challenging year for the Duluth Police Department due to a historic staffing shortage and several changes in leadership positions. I am extremely proud of the work that both our sworn and professional staff did this year. Despite these challenges they continue to be creative and innovative on ways to approach public safety with and our community. In 2023, we will continue to recruit staff with character who want to be part of an innovative and forward-thinking team."
According to details shared by the City during the presentation, the Duluth Police Department ended 2022 short 22 sworn officers. That's why one of the primary target goals for 2023 is to "Rebuild, Recruit, Retain". To help, the department has put together a Recruitment and Retention Plan, that's available for review on their website.
While the Duluth Police Department battled historic staffing shortages, there was good news in regards to crime. Total crime numbers dropped in both categories during 2022. Part A Crimes - considered the "most serious offenses", were down by 1,629 incidents - when comparing 2022 to 2021; while Part B Crimes dropped by 338 incidents over the same year-long time frame.
Duluth Police Chief Ceynowa also addressed the ways that the department is working on the Racial Bias Audit. That process began in October as a "response to the communities calls for improvements to policing across the country and in the City". Ceynowa added:
"Social issues we see on our streets everyday have a direct impact on people's perception of crime and safety. What our crime statistics show is that our numbers in most categories are lower than last year, our reactive calls for service are trending down and our proactive calls are trending up. Issues like persons experiencing homelessness, Substance Abuse Disorder, and mental health crisis are areas our police department is addressing through a collaborative approach with multiple entities. These issues take time to address and are difficult to tackle with a traditional criminal justice approach."
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson provided the City's response to both the look back by the department and the forward goals. Larson shared:
"Thank you, Chief Ceynowa and the entire Duluth Police Department for...continued commitment to public safety and earning the public's trust and support. Feeling safe and being safe are critical to any community, and while we're all thankful for the work this department does to bring crime numbers down, I'm always proud to see everyone working within public safety committed to constantly improving and we are here to support that as a community."