YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — At times in recent decades, various surveys found Americans believed violent crime was on the rise even when it wasn’t — crime rates peaked in the late 1980s and 1990s.

But now?

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“It’s definitely not your imagination,” York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow said of rising violent crime rates across the country, commonwealth and Midstate.

In 2020, the most recent full year, Pennsylvania had 389.5 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, according to FBI data via “The Center Square.” In absolute terms, that was about average, ranking Pennsylvania 24th worst among all 50 states. But the increase of 27 percent compared to 2019 ranked the commonwealth first — in other worst, worst — among all 50 states. (Neighboring Maryland was among just 13 states where crime rates dropped.)

But the city of York’s violent crime rate has declined; homicides, in particular, are roughly flat recently, whereas homicides in all of Pennsylvania surged 30 percent in 2020.

Muldrow partly credits community policing initiatives. He says other police departments nationally have begin noticing how York is bucking national trends: Organizers of an upcoming national law enforcement conference in Las Vegas have invited him to share his experiences, and researchers from Stanford University in California will visit York.