Kane County felony cases up 6.8% in 2016
Kane County felony cases filed in 2016 increased 6.8 percent from 2015, the first uptick since a high mark was reached in 2007.
Overall, felony cases in 2016 were still down 22.5 percent from 2011, which was State's Attorney Joe McMahons's first full year in office.
McMahon said Friday he was concerned about the increase, but not necessarily ready to call it a trend unless felony cases increase two or three years in a row.
"We're still down significantly from where we were seven, eight years ago," he said. "Anytime we see an uptick in felony cases, that's concerning to me. To some degree, crime is a little bit cyclical. I hope were not on a long-term increase."
Kane prosecutors authorized 2,255 felony cases last year, an increase from 2,111 cases in 2015. Kane had 2,909 felony cases in 2011, which was McMahon's first full year.
In 2007, prosecutors authorized 3,849 felony cases; 2016's total is nearly 41 percent less than that.
McMahon declined to speculate on what factors might have contributed to 2016's rise in felony cases, which breaks down to 12 more a month or about three a week.
Homicides increased from 10 in 2015 to 11 in 2016.
McMahon's office will have final 2016 case figures in February, but did note success in collecting more in delinquent child support payments.
In 2016, the state's attorney's office collected $27.3 million in child support, an increase of $1.5 million from 2015, McMahon said.
Last year, 1,124 child support cases were referred to the county, compared to 1,328 in 2015.
"The number of cases that came in went down, so we're collecting more per case than we did the previous year. That's a good sign," said McMahon, noting that getting delinquent child support helps struggling families put food on the table, pay the rent or mortgage, and helps reduce foreclosures and other crimes.