Mesa County felonies decline in 2011

Felony criminal-case filings in Mesa County continued to decline in 2011, which recorded the fewest such cases in six years.

Twenty-first Judicial District Administrator Sandra Casselberry said Thursday her staff opened 1,452 felony case files in 2011, compared to 1,656 in 2010. Felony prosecutions have declined over consecutive years since 2005, which recorded a high of 2,223 cases, according to data compiled by the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office and Mesa County Combined Courts.

Authorities earlier this year cited a host of possible contributing factors for the felony decline.

The falling numbers come as an annual crime-statistics analysis published in late December found Mesa County had improved its safety ranking.

The CQ Press City Rankings for 2011–12 said the Grand Junction metropolitan area ranked 104th safest among 354 metro areas noted in the group’s study. In 2010, the study ranked the Grand Junction metropolitan area 142nd.

The study relied on reported data for murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and motor-vehicle theft, as part of the FBI’s annual uniform crime report.

The study grouped crime data for all of Mesa County in assessing Grand Junction as a metropolitan area.

Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said year-end crime data for 2011 was unavailable this past week.


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