WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Well the statistics are in, and it’s official—Wheeling is still a friendly and safe city.

The police department has released a list of what they responded to in 2022 compared to years past.

Chief Shawn Schwertfeger had praise for the patrol officers we all see in our neighborhoods.

He says they are the reason for the overall six percent increase in arrests last year.

Many of the increases this year were in what police call ‘Group A’ offenses.

These include property crimes and crimes against people, with thefts of bikes, catalytic converters and shoplifting on the rise.

It includes a more than 60 percent increase in burglary—but Chief Schwertfeger says it isn’t what it seems.

I don’t want citizens of Wheeling to think people are coming into their homes, because that’s not what we’re dealing with. What we’re dealing with is vacant structures where either addicted individuals or vagrants are entering these vacant structures in order to steal whatever copper piping may be inside and other precious metals.

Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police

On the positive side, with the completion of the major highway projects, crashes and traffic citations were both down.

Vandalism and weapons offenses both declined 30 percent or more.

The chief says the number he’s proudest of on the report is the 22 percent drop in overdoses.

He says it’s thanks to the Ohio Valley Drug Task Force and Wheeling Police, who have been cutting off the supply of narcotics before they make it to the streets.