Kenneth Dean firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle is happy with the continued trend of crime rates falling in the city, but said he would like to see the numbers even lower.
Swindle said the crime rates from 2013 saw Part 1 crimes drop by 0.30 percent across the board and Part 2 crimes fall by 8.90 percent.
Part 1 crimes include homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglaries and theft.
Part 2 crimes consist of assault, forgery, fraud, embezzlement, criminal mischief, weapon law violation, prostitution, sex offenses (not including rape), drug violations, family offenses, driving while intoxicated, liquor law violations, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
The U.S. Department of Justice requires all law enforcement agencies to submit yearly reports in order to track crime trends from year to year.
Although Part 1 crimes were down in Tyler, the city saw six homicides in 2013, up from five the year before.
Sexual assaults have remained steady with numbers in the mid-40s for the past several years, and robberies and aggravated assaults both dropped 7.53 percent and 3.10 percent, respectively.
Burglaries dropped, but auto thefts shot up 52.24 percent.
Part 2 crimes saw driving while intoxicated arrests fall by 33.06 percent or from 369 in 2012 to 247 in 2013.
Other Part 2 crimes that saw decreases include simple assaults, forgery, fraud, criminal mischief, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
Weapon law violations and prostitution both saw increases, but Swindle said there are reasons for the increases and that Tyler officers worked more prostitution stings, and more felons were caught with weapons.
“These trends can go up and down and we are fortunate because our numbers have been declining for the past several years,” he said.
Since 2009, Part 1 crimes have fallen from 6,301 to 4,970 this year and Part 2 crimes have declined from 6,127 to 4,995.
Swindle said community policing has helped the numbers tremendously and he thanks the public for its help.
“We get calls from citizens who tell us there is someone suspicious and we respond. Many times we’re able to arrest that person or scare them off, preventing further crimes from being committed,” he said.
Swindle explained that one group of criminals committing burglaries, thefts, frauds or some other crime can make the numbers jump drastically.
“There are a lot of times when we arrest someone and he or she leads us to others involved in a string of crimes. One person or group can have a big impact on the numbers,” he said.
Swindle said the year-to-date numbers show 2014 is below the 2013 numbers at this time last year.
“If this continues, then we might see our numbers drop even more. It takes us all working together to make our community safe,” he said.