LETTER: ‘Do you believe Des Moines is a safe city to live in?’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

Do you believe Des Moines is a safe city to live in?

According to the “NATIONAL INCIDENT-BASED REPORTING SYSTEM” statistics for the last three years, there were well over three thousand criminal acts reported to the Des Moines police. During that time, the following criminal acts were perpetrated against citizens of Des Moines:

  • 1690 larcenies
  • 98 robberies
  • 271 assaults
  • 3 murders
  • 18 rapes
  • 12 arsons
  • 524 auto thefts
  • 558 burglaries
  • plus many more lesser crimes.

In addition to all that crime, our police department is understaffed by 14 positions at last count.

Were you or any of your loved ones or friends, victims of any of these crimes?

We know those who are responsible for those people becoming victims!

They are the council members that we have elected in the last ten years who refuse to provide us with the public safety that any city is obliged to provide to it’s citizens.

When you or any of your loved ones or friends, become victims this year, you will know who to hold responsible!

What do you think the outcome would be, if a group of criminals attempted to invade your home, and when you called police, all available officers were investigating a fatal accident on International Boulevard?

We don’t like to think of something like that happening.

But aren’t we reading about or watching the TV news about home invasions, burglaries, or murders every day in our surrounding cities.

Those cities around Des Moines have been working hard to drive the criminals out of their cities.

It seems logical, that more of that kind of crime might come to Des Moines?

Some of us are concerned, that it may happen in our neighborhood.

It’s a known fact: ”Areas with a reduced police presence attract criminal activity.”

As that increased crime comes to Des Moines, We don’t have enough police officers to be able to control the growing criminal activity in our city.

It’s not safe to send our officers out on patrol alone.

We already had one of our officers murdered because he had no back up.

These conditions are a direct result of our City Council’s negligence. They don’t believe we deserve protection from the criminal element that they have invited to invade our neighborhoods

It’s time for someone to do something to change this unacceptable situation.

We have some interesting ideas about how we can accomplish that task.

We’re not looking for money. This Job only needs concerned citizens who have the guts to stand up and demand our city council fully fund out police department.

Please contact me, if you’re interested in helping make our city a safer place to live.

Yours truly,
Don Wasson

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]


8 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Do you believe Des Moines is a safe city to live in?’”
  1. Lisa Patton says:

    We would like to know how many of these crimes happened between Military and Pac Hwy specifically on 216th? I think a lot of the police officers spend their shifts in that area. What is being done about that area?

    • wanker says:

      It’s easy to look at these numbers as appalling, but I have to agree with Lisa here.

      Different lifestyles put you at risk for being the victim of crimes. While not everyone between pac-hwy and Military is a criminal, it sure seems like there is a higher concentration of them there. If some of these numbers are just the criminals living their lifestyle, I honestly couldn’t care less. It’s their choice.

      I have lived in Des Moines for 8 or 9 years. The only crimes that have been committed against me are a bike theft, terrible service at Boston’s Pizza, and a car break in. While they definitely left me mad, I do not feel unsafe.

      • Pat Nardo says:

        Mr. Wanker
        I too had a bad, very bad experience with Boston Pizza. Over a beer at Prima Margherita, I would share this with you. We do have a serious crime problem and it is not one easily solved, at least not overnight. We live in Huntington Park and suddenly we are many victims of invisible thieves. Back to the Prima Margherita now; I promise you there will be no disappointment at this new place and my friend, who will be your friend, Vincenzo, will please your palate, especially after you are well served and fed at his restaurant.;you will become a steady family member there! Good luck sir.

        • Wanker says:


          Prima Margherita is great! I have been there a couple of times. I just wish there was a way for Barnacles and PM to co-exist.

          There is a difference between serious crime (murder, assault, rape, armed robbery, etc) and property crimes. You will find property crimes anywhere there is opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it’s Bellevue, Kent, Medina or Des Moines, if thieves see an easy target they will come. Unfortunately they don’t care what city you live in, or stick to the boundaries of the city they live in.

          I would guess that an area like Huntington Park would be a huge target for thieves! Correct me if I am wrong, but you have a population of retired people, who go to bed early, travel often, and were generally raised in a time when neighbors looked out for neighbors, thus letting their guards down a bit more.

          Thieves can be treated like pests. You take away their opportunity and they will go somewhere else.

  2. Pat Nardo says:

    Don is an old friend and I agree with his statistics, though I would like to know more of the source. Blaming our council is not a good approach here, as I see it. We have some good people on our council and they can only do so much with the revenue we, as citizens provide and we certainly do not help much b shopping everywhere but in our own village o Des Moines. For example our QFC is only a memory now and we put it out of business ourselves by shopping in Kent , Burien and maybe eve Timbuktu. Because of the laws of supply and demand and there was a greatly diminished demand for our QFC, they were unable to sustains profitable enterprise in Des Moines. The argument here is not a shortage of police; it is a shortage of funds, partly due to housing prices and little revenue generated by us, the people of Des Moines. We are in trouble here but the council is a hard working group trying to plug holes in our dam and we need to support each and everyone of them. Think; if you have a dollar and a choice, spend it in Des Moines. Our council is comprised of honorable citizens and they suffer the same as us. It’s like flying in a plane now; you know the pilot does not want to crash! Maybe we need to be a little more patient and vote when the time comes for a promise of change. Our enemy now is not the Des Moines City Council; it is the economy pure and simple. We can also use a few more good citizens like Mr. Wasson, to speak up and educate as we need civic support. Thank you ,Don.

  3. Cindy says:

    Additional stats needed.

    How many arrests were made for these crimes?

    How many convictions were there for these crimes?

    Speeding tickets garner revenue… arrests/convictions garner costs.

  4. Mike Saint says:

    Hey Wanker,

    With all due respect, try walking around with your cell phone out and see if your perception of this city as “safe” changes. For that matter, head over to HCC (one of our larger stakeholders in the city) and ask their students and staff how “safe” they feel these days.

    Crime in the city is a big concern and yes, the PD is very understaffed. That is unacceptable. Blithely comparing bad service as some pizza joint with the true criminal activity going on within our city not only shows a total disregard for the people actually being victimized, but gives the criminals all the encouragement they need to continue because people with your attitude show you couldn’t care less about anyone else but yourselves.

    • Wanker says:

      Wow, way to take what you want out of a 4 month old comment and twist it. I was simply saying that there are different parts of Des Moines, with different concentrations of criminal activity and that blanket crime stats for the city are pointless unless you can still down by neighborhoods. Also in some neighborhoods people live lifestyles that make them susceptible to crime that’s their choice.

      The comment about Boston’s was sarcasm, you are familiar with sarcasm right? My point is that while I wouldn’t feel safe in some parts of the city, the worst that I have experienced is a bike theft, and bad service at a restaurant.

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