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Raleigh police see big drop in arrests while cost of policing increases

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(The Center Square) – The city of Raleigh, North Carolina, police department has seen a 34% drop in arrests and citations since 2022 despite funding and crime increases.

In 2023, police arrests and citations in Raleigh hit a record low at 234,180. The city recorded 36,883 arrests in 2022. The city has experienced a steep decline in arrests over the past nine years. Police made 98,857 arrests in 2014, according to city documents.

The Raleigh Police Department is following a national trend that has seen a drop in the number of arrests as previously reported by The Center Square.

While arrests and citations have declined since 2022, the city is also seeing an increase in costs for the police department.

The city spent $109.2 million on the police department in 2020-21, according to documents, and is projecting an increase to $130.9 million in 2023-24.

The number of budgeted full-time positions in the police department has grown since 2014. There were 890 budgeted police positions in 2014 and that has gradually grown to 908 in 2022 and 2023.

Public safety expenditures account for 34% of the city’s $647.2 million general fund.

The city of Raleigh has also seen a rise in crime. The city reported 17 homicides in 2018 and 43 in 2022, the latest year of crime data as reported by the city.

Larceny, Motor vehicle theft, and aggravated assault have also seen an increase since 2021 according to city crime data.

The Raleigh police department, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police did not respond to emails seeking comment.

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