With more soldiers, crime rises at Lewis-McChord

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- With more soldiers stationed there than ever before, crime is on the rise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports (http://is.gd/BGoV5v ) that the base recorded new highs last year for misdemeanor crimes and for offenses involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Felonies and domestic violence were also up last year compared with the previous year, but they were down significantly compared with 2008.

The statistics reflect crimes committed on and off base.

Lewis-McChord has 34,000 active-duty soldiers. That's 15,000 more service members than were stationed there in 2003. Col. Bob Taradash is Lewis-McChord's top military police officer, and he says the increase in crime can be attributed to the increase in population.

Last year, Lewis-McChord recorded 4,874 misdemeanor offenses, up from 3,812 in 2010 and the previous high of 4,181 in 2008, just after the base's large infantry brigades returned from Iraq.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com