Chief reports violent crime down

Some violent crime rates in the city have dropped over the past two years.

“We have seen a nominal decrease in violent crime from 2017 to end of 2018,” Damon R. Hagan, city police chief, told the City Council public safety committee on Tuesday.

Overall, violent crime rates have dropped in all categories by about 15 percent, Hagan said.

Hagan noted the statistics tend to be rather similar each year, but in 2018, for crimes that cause bodily injury, such as aggravated assault, the numbers dropped noticeably.

Other notable crimes, such as homicides, dropped from three to one last year.

Statistics on assaults with firearms show it reduced from seven to four, Hagan said.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana later said the drop in violent crime has to do with a policy to get more officers on patrol shifts.

Campana gave credit to David J. Young, retired chief, with instituting a flex shift that permitted officers to work when needed and reduce overtime expense.

Hagan said he would continue to provide information gathered by the records management system to the committee on a monthly basis.

The safety committee consists of Councilmen Joel Henderson, chairman; Don Noviello and Derek Slaughter.