Without naming names, let me tell you about one Colorado business that was robbed. The robber was caught but not incarcerated, whereupon he returned to the same business and robbed it again.
That simply should not happen. Not ever.
But that story is symptomatic of one of the biggest problems facing the entire state of Colorado—growing crime.
Statistics, of course, can be manipulated, but the raw data cannot lie.
The raw data about crime in Colorado is not a pretty picture.
Between 2018 and 2021 violent crime (murder, sexual and aggravated assault, and robbery) was up 19 percent in Colorado.
Those numbers pale in comparison to the increase in Mesa County. Data from the Mesa County sheriff’s office show violent crime in our county was up a whopping 60 percent from during the same time period.
Between 2018 and 2019 (the latest data available from the CDC), drug overdose deaths in Colorado rose 38.3 percent, among the top 10 highest increases in the U.S.
According to data from the Grand Junction Police Department every single category of criminal activity was up between 2018 and 2021, most by double digits.
Those numbers might not be as alarming if Colorado wasn’t so criminal-friendly. The prison population in Colorado peaked 13 years ago. Since then, it has declined by 23 percent, all while the population of the state grew 18 percent, from 4.9 million to 5.8 million.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the trends. They are stark. Crime is skyrocketing and criminals are getting get-out-of-jail-free cards.
Crime is a problem the legislature must confront head-on. It’s getting worse and the reason isn’t hard to see: We are too easy on criminals. Too many of them are on the streets when they should be in jail.
Fighting crime will be one of my top priorities as a member of the Colorado Legislature. I never want to hear another story like that of the Colorado business that was robbed twice by the same person.