In 1996, Chambersburg, with a population of 17,000, had 344 assaults, two murders, four rapes, 23 robberies, 129 burglaries, 797 thefts, 45 vehicle thefts and 12 arsons, according to the report.
Morris, a Democrat and Chambersburg native, said his only explanation for the numbers is that there's a high reporting rate in Chambersburg, whereas some crime in big cities goes unreported.
What the statistics don't show is that Chambersburg's police department has a high crime-solving rate, Morris said.
"Our detective department has been able to solve almost all of the burglaries and robberies in Chambersburg," he said.
Despite the statistics, Morris said he's doing what he can within the constraints of the borough's budget and stands by his record.
Since he's been in office, four full-time police officers have been added to the department, along with a motorcycle unit, bicycle patrol, equestrian patrol, emergency response team and video cameras in the police cruisers. Two canine units also have been added, with a third planned for next year, Morris said.
Both candidates would like to increase the number and visibility of police officers, and modernize the department with technology.
Retired after more than 34 years as superintendent of recreation for the borough and four years as Franklin County commissioner, Niemond said he also wants to make the mayor's job full time.
That means opening the office to the public several days a week, working with the schools, continuing to promote the downtown and working with neighborhood groups, he said.
"I think it might be time for a change, new blood, new ideas," Niemond said.
Morris, in his 31st year as a guidance counselor at James Buchanan Middle School in Mercersburg, Pa., said he has made himself accessible to the public with office hours every day after school and during the summer.
"I feel I've done a good job as mayor. I'll try very hard to do a fine job the next term," he said.