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Increase in weapons law violations and overall crime rates, Charlottesville Police Department 2022 report shows

The report also shows a decrease in drug violations last year

There were 50 weapons law violations in 2022, an increase from 42 in 2021.
There were 50 weapons law violations in 2022, an increase from 42 in 2021.

The City of Charlottesville saw an 11.4 percent increase in total crime for 2022 compared to the previous year, according to Charlottesville Police Department’s annual report. This report comes as Charlottesville is seeing a significant rise in gun violence, both on and off Grounds.  

The report breaks the total number of crimes into three smaller categories — crimes against persons, crimes against property and crimes against society. Crimes against persons, which includes offenses such as homicide and assault, and crimes against property, which includes offenses such as stolen property, both increased from the previous year. Crimes against society, which includes offenses such as drug violations, decreased from 224 to 208.

872 total crimes against persons were reported, with 541 reports of simple assault and 174 reports of aggravated assault, increases from 496 and 121 in 2021, respectively. There were 50 weapons law violations in 2022, an increase from 42 in 2021.

Chief Micheal Kochis, who was appointed to the position in December 2022, wrote in the report that the department will focus primarily on community partnerships and addressing gun violence, staff recruitment and retention and staff wellness in 2023.

“We must focus on building trust in order to be successful in addressing the challenges we face,” Kochis wrote, “Whether it be gun violence or the scourge of fentanyl that has taken the lives of many of our neighbors, we must work together to address these issues.”

Other crimes that also saw an increase in 2022 were forcible rape, which jumped from 19 incidents in 2021 to 29 in 2022, and theft from a building, which rose from 96 incidents in 2021 to 337 in 2022.  

In addition to releasing crime statistics, the annual report addresses the breakdown of police stops by race. According to the report, 62 percent of people stopped by police were white while 29 percent were Black — despite the fact that Black individuals account for only 18 percent of the Charlottesville population.

While the report only includes data from 2022, Charlottesville has already seen five homicides in the first three months of 2023 compared to two all year in 2022 and zero in 2021. 

This increase in homicides from 2021 to 2022 and from 2022 to the first half of 2023 aligns with national reports of rising gun violence. Notably, the November shooting on-Grounds which claimed the lives of three students has led to the development of local solutions to deter violence, including an increased presence of police and ambassadors around Grounds and the creation of a Community Safety Working Group. 

The report also makes note of complaints received and investigated by the Police Department. Of the 36 complaints received, only 10 were found to have sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Of the remaining 26 complaints, 14 were found to be false, nine were found to have insufficient evidence, and three were found to be lawful acts.  

Additionally, according to the report the operating budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year has increased from $19,350,00 to $20,560,00, the vast majority of which came from an increase in salaries and benefits. 


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