2010 was a more peaceful year in Decorah than 2009 was, according to the annual report by the Decorah Police Department. But there were some notable exceptions.
Decorah Police Chief bill Nixon says criminal offenses declined by 9 percent in the city during 2010.
But Nixon says check thefts and other economic crimes increased during the bad economy.
More seriously, "narcotics activity has been growing," reported Nixon. In 2007 when the Iowa Legislature passed laws limiting access to the ingredients used in making methamphetamine, the crime dropped. But since then meth has made a resurgence, with crime up 50 percent in the past three years.
But that's not even the most serious problem. Nixon says the illegal use of pharmaceuticals has been growing. Police are joining with a number of other community organizations to try to take steps to dispose of used pharmaceuticals as one way of lessening the problem.
Nixon says some of the increase in drug-related crimes might be caused by new leadership of the Northeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force. New officers working with the program have been "far more active" in cracking down on drug use, said Nixon.