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Number of felonies in La Crosse County slightly ahead of last year’s rate, way ahead from 3 years ago

Brad Williams

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La Crosse County is close to beating last year’s mark.

The county is almost to 990 felonies and a few days ahead of when it hit 1,000 back in 2017.

Just three years ago, it took until Thanksgiving to get 800 felonies.

“It’s getting close, I should say,” District attorney Tim Gruenke said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it were higher. I think it’s going to be very close to what it was last year.”

Drug-related crimes account for much of the increase, according to Gruenke, who says communities are doing what they can to crack down on drug abuse.

“Better treatment, expanding our capacity for our drug court, trying to be better on supervision and getting people into treatment,” Gruenke said. “It’s not just a criminal justice system, it’s also the medical system, the human services system.”

Gruenke says it’s drug crimes involving meth and heroin that are the main culprits for the spike, and the use of meth, especially, can start a ‘ripple effect’ of other crimes occurring.

But, while there’s a rise in crime here and around the country, Gruenke says communities are trying drug rehab and other programs to cut down on that crime rate.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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