The Annual report from the Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office is out as 2017 panned out to be a year of continuing trends and pursuit of prevention methods.
In 2017, the Attorney’s Office dealt with over 5-thousand 600 cases, providing services for all eleven municipalities in the County.
When looking at the caseloads, a growing Mankato metro plays in to the increase according to County Attorney Pat McDermott.
“We also have the highest retails per-capita in the state. We are the youngest county in the state. We have that large college population and the vast majority of crimes statistically would tell you they are committed by 18 to 24 year olds.”
Felony adult criminal filings were up in 2017 to 770, up from 719 in 2016, but less than the record high 813 in 2015. Leading the way in types of Felony flings were drug crimes, which totaled 274. Property crimes came in with the second highest total at 208 followed by person crimes at 203.
“When we look at our numbers and those numbers in the serious crimes, Felony and crimes in those areas, approximately half of our office resources are dedicated specifically to that. That is a large number. But it is comparable to, for example, other out-state regional centers. So, on a per 100-thousand basis, we’re not out of wack.”
Juvenile flings totaled 61 last year, up 10 from 2016.
The Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office is made up of 14 attorneys and nine other staff members. Last year a part-time employee from MRCI was added to help with electronic filing. McDermott says the biggest challenge in the office is resources.
“We’ve been fortunate in our office, because the commissioners have seen what we’ve been doing. Have seen the needs and they did grant the request for an additional attorney this year. This will help our per-attorney caseload go down. Because compared to our neighboring counties, compared to other counties, we have one of the highest per-attorney caseloads.”
One of the newest programs implemented last year was the Child Advocacy Center. The Attorney’s Office was awarded a grant last year to help establish the facility in Mankato. McDermott says efforts towards the Center will continue this year.