BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Bowling Green Police say they hear it a lot, people asking, "Is crime on the rise?"
Reflecting on 2019, police and other law enforcement agencies in Warren County analyze the year's crime and drug activity.
"As far as crime being on the rise, you know, you hear about crimes that happen and social media has sort of amplified that a little bit because people interact with each other now more than they did," said Ronnie Ward, Public Information Officer for the Bowling Green Police Department.
Bowling Green Police say in 2019 they had four homicides, two of those were shootings, one was a stabbing, and one was strangulation.
They also worked 10 business robberies, though officers told 13 News crime is unpredictable year to year.
The Warren County Drug Task Force reports in 2019 there was a slight increase in meth use, but a large increase in marijuana THC vape cartridges with 2,800 confiscated.
Those with the drug task force say there is a connection between crime and drug activity.
At the Warren County Regional Jail 2019 was a year for programs to promote success after release.
"[I'm] really proud of the affiliate site designation we have with the career center and what that means as far as attracting employers in our area to be open to giving a felon a second chance at employment," said Warren County Jailer Stephen Harmon.
Harmon says more than 300 inmates graduated from at least one of the programs offered at the jail.
Some of the jail's highlights are as follows:
The National Career Readiness Certificate, which began in September 2019, helps inmates learn essential skills needed to re-enter the workplace after release. For 2019 they saw 23 graduates.
The MRT parenting class, established in October 2018, helps inmates establish better parenting skills, better family values, and disciplinary routines. In 2019 the program saw 30 graduates.
The MRT Relapse Prevention program, Staying Quit, established in October 2019, helps inmates in a substance abuse program focus on relapse prevention. There are 20 students who started in 2019 and are currently in the program.
The "Soft Skills" Work Ready program helps inmates learn skills including communication, problem-solving, customer service, teamwork, and conflict resolution. For 2019 they saw 68 graduates.
The State ID Program and Birth Certificate Program, which both began in August of 2018, helps inmates get access to these documents for when they are released. Both programs saw more participants in 2019, with 80 inmates getting a state ID and 100 inmates getting their birth certificate.
The FREED (Felon Reentry Equal Employment Directive) and LEAP(Linking Employment Activities Pre-Release) programs, which assist inmates with obtaining employment while housed at the Warren County Regional Jail, saw 23 total graduates.
Road crews disposed of 10,016 bags of litter.