BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– Bloomington city officials released their annual public safety report.

The overall crime rate for the city decreased by 1% in 2022, but city officials are pointing out a concerning rise in violent crime. 

“Safety is the most important part of life,” said Mayor John Hamilton. He began the City of Bloomington State of Public Safety report in 2017 as part of a city-wide effort to establish greater transparency and accountability.

“It helps us together identify patterns, progress, as well as persistent problems,” Hamilton said.

The report shows violent crime increased by 5.8% in 2022.

“We have seen a significant increase in firearm-type calls, which is concerning,” Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff said.

A firearm was used in 132 incidents in 2022. In 70 of those incidents, the firearm was fired at a person.

“Crime is nothing that we can really control,” Diekhoff said. “If you look at the areas where we’ve had increases, it’s in violent crime. That’s really hard to impact.”

The police chief said there are a variety of reasons for why some crimes increased, while others decreased. 

“COVID-19 did have an impact on some of those numbers,” Diekhoff said.

The fire department, up 330 calls, saw the largest increase in calls year-over-year. That’s almost double the call volume in 2016.

“2021 we saw the largest single increase from year-over-year call,” said Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moor. “We saw another increase in 2022.”

There were 5,883 calls total in 2022. Calls for reported fires went up, while calls for rescue and EMS went down. Chief Moore said the department did not meet their response time goal for the year.

City leaders hope the annual report will show community members Bloomington is a safe place to live, while also encouraging them to be smart. 

“It makes people more aware of what’s happening so they can think about that and take steps to lessen their chance of something happening to you,” Diekhoff said.

The city is increasing efforts to recruit and retain fire personnel and police officers by offering hiring bonuses and a rental assistance pilot program to encourage first responders live in the Bloomington community.