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Ask/Answered is a weekly feature for reader-submitted questions. Follow the blog online at www.cumberlink.com:

Is crime going up in Carlisle?

No, crime is not going up in Carlisle. In fact, the number of crimes reported to police and the number of criminal cases filed by police have fallen in the borough in recent years.

In 2012, there were a combined 261 incidents of rape, robbery, assault and criminal homicide reported to police in the borough, according to the Pennsylvania State Police Uniform Crime Reporting System.

By 2017, that number had fallen to 178 incidents reported to police.

Criminal charges for serious offenses like robbery, rape, aggravated assault and burglary rose from 2012 to 2015 and then fell, according to an analysis of court records conducted by The Sentinel.

As of the end of November, about 30 cases involving those four offenses were filed in the borough, according to court records.

What is not captured in these numbers, however, are all the things police do that do not result in criminal charges from responding to mental health calls to helping reverse overdoses.

Early Wednesday morning, Carlisle Police responded to a suspected overdose near The Sentinel building. While the call took time and resources from police and had an effect on the community, if criminal charges are not filed from the incident, it will not appear in any crime statistics.

Carlisle Police Chief Taro Landis has requested the borough council approve creating two new police officer positions. Landis said the move is an effort allow police to be more proactive rather than reactive and prevent crimes from occurring.

“We are looking to increase the presence on the street and serve the community better with more officers,” Landis said. “From a safety standpoint [this would allow us] to have two officers responding to most calls.”

The addition of two officers would bring the Carlisle Police Department up to 33 officers.

Numerous studies have shown that hiring more police who do quality work is an effective way to reduce crime. A 2018 study by Steven Mello, a doctorate candidate at Princeton University, found each additional officer hired by a police department reduces victimization cost by $352,000.

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Email Joshua Vaughn at jvaughn@cumberlink.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Sentinel_Vaughn.