MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Prosecutor gave a presentation to the County Board of Commissioners earlier this week to take a look at some crime statistics over the last 6 years. County Prosecutor Matt Wiese’s office took a backward look at criminal cases in the county from 2012 until the end of 2019, and found a few trends in regards to the crimes.
One trend that is seen around the county is the rise in cases of possession of methamphetamine, despite a fall in the cases of maintaining a house where the meth is being manufactured, which Wiese says is linked to a bigger problem nationwide.
“We’ve seen an uptick in what is called ‘crystal,’ or ‘crystal meth,’ over the last two years which is being traced back to cartel sources,” said Wiese. “So that’s what we’re seeing in Marquette County, and it’s just hit us really hard. And it’s very plentiful and very much available. And that’s what’s causing this huge uptick in cases right now.”
Along with methamphetamine cases, felony cases are also on the rise in the county, such as domestic violence and child sexual abuse. Wiese says that improvements in public awareness and police training have lead to more cases that are being prosecuted, and not necessarily because there are more felonies being committed.
“When we look into that data, what we’re finding out and discovering is that it’s not that there’s necessarily and increase in that type of thing happening, there’s just an increase in that type of case being brought into the system because of public awareness,” Wiese added.
Another factor in that increase is the way that the police are being trained. Wiese said that in previous years, the police were not trained to look for certain things when investigating certain crimes, such as domestic violence. But with improved training and practices while investigating these crimes, more are being brought into the system.
But despite the upticks in felonies, Wiese wanted to stress that street crime throughout the county remains almost nonexistent. He also said that if anyone feels like a family member or loved one is suffering from problems with drugs or abuse, then they should talk to them and try to help that person with fixing the problem.