Jamestown police statistics down for 2020

Scott Edinger, chief of the Jamestown Police Department, reports that most reportable statistics for the department showed decreases in 2020.

JSSP JPD Crime Report

Calls to the Jamestown Police Department, reported crimes and arrests were all down for the year 2020, according to Scott Edinger, chief of the department.

"Pretty much everything was down," he said. "For part of February, March and April we really had little going on due to the pandemic."

Calls for service, any call where an officer responds to a request, were 13,423 in 2020, compared to more than 17,000 in 2018 to 14,617 in 2019.

Reported crimes were down from 1,313 in 2018 and 1,048 in 2019 to 960 reported in 2020.

One of the biggest declines was in drug-related offenses which peaked at 347 in 2018 but were down to 80 in 2020.


"Our drug offenses were down because drugs are usually associated with other calls," Edinger said. "We are called to a domestic, for example, or make a traffic stop or a shoplifting arrest and we also find drugs. With those calls down, there were less drug arrests."

One group of statistics that did see an increase in Jamestown was suicides which include suicides, attempted suicides and threatened suicides. The combined categories increased to 134 incidents in 2020 from 109 in 2019.

"Unfortunately those are up," Edinger said. "We do have a lot of these types of calls anyway but they likely had to do with the pandemic."

Pandemic-related calls to the Jamestown Police Department were a new category for 2020 with 39 calls for service.

"Those related to dealing with a person who was suspected or confirmed to be positive for COVID," Edinger said. "It could be assisting with an ambulance call or a welfare check on a person suspected of having the coronavirus."

The department also dealt with numerous calls from people asking if local businesses could enforce mask mandates which were not part of the statistical report.

Edinger said he had anticipated the number of domestic violence reports would go up during the coronavirus pandemic but was surprised to see that was not the case.

"No statistic seems oddly up due to the pandemic," he said.


Violent crimes in Jamestown were down slightly with 147 assaults reported in 2020 compared to 168 in 2019 and 183 in 2018. There were no murders and one attempted murder reported in Jamestown in 2020. This compares to 32 murders reported in North Dakota in 2020 which set a record for the state.

"Across the state, violent crime feels like it is becoming more of an everyday event," Edinger said.

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