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Boise's overall crime rate is dropping but drug violations are increasing, police say

While the city's crime rate has gone down overall, narcotic violations increased by more than 18%.

BOISE, Idaho — On Monday, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Boise Police Chief Bill Bones presented the latest data on crime rates in the city which showed Boise's crime index rate dropped by 17% in 2018.

"We are down specifically in the area property crimes," Chief Bones said. "So, burglaries, auto thefts, break-ins."

James Hull, the vice president of Boise's West Bench Neighborhood Association, says the reduction in crime is visible.

"I'm happy to see that the numbers are down, we have noticed the numbers are down but there are other issues, smaller issues like graffiti and traffic," Hull said.

While the city's crime rate has gone down overall, narcotic violations increased by more than 18% in 2018. Bones says part of that increase is due to more officers focused on busting dope dealers.

MORE: Idaho State Police: Crime rate dropped slightly last year

"We're working to end those people that are supplying controlled substances across the city," Bones said.

The City of Boise also reported a 3.2% increase in service calls, mostly regarding individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

"Our biggest calls for service increase are around mental health in the last five years, that's where we are seeing those double-digit increases in calls for service," Bones said.

He added that he hopes the legislature will allocate more funds to treat these people.

"We have to have an ability to get someone in for longer-term treatment," Bones said.

By October, BPD will add five more officers to the force, bringing the total number of sworn officers to 305. In 1992, Boise PD had 179 officers on duty.

Bones hopes the increase in staff will continue to push Boise's crime trend downward.

RELATED: 'We're trying to support victims': Idaho's law on testing every sexual assault kit goes into effect today