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Lamar Police Using Software to Put a ‘Byte’ into Crime

Lamar Police Chief Kyle Miller

Lamar Police Chief Kyle Miller

Statistical information can make for a less than interesting read (22% of males under 40 years of age are eating 17% less turnips) for example. But some very useful statistics was presented by Lamar Police Department Chief, Kyle Miller and City Administrator, John Sutherland, to the City Council; a two year study of crimes in the community, available through some new software the police department has been using.

Sutherland explained, “These are the Part One crimes in the community, based on software programming and these are the more seriously rated crimes against persons.” Chief Miller explained, “The department has been keeping track of these crimes and they are now providing us some information so we can track and identify when and where they have been happening.  That way we can have our people in these areas around the times they have been occurring.”  Miller said it’s a basic crime map and there are ‘bubbles’ or elevated crime areas that are indicated by the software.  He explained, “These people aren’t going to travel very far carrying the stuff they’ve stolen.  This is also giving us some approach for the control of drugs that are being sold in our community.  The majority of people being arrested do have some form of drug in their system.”

For the period: January 1 – June 12, 2015  vs  January 1 – June 12, 2016

2015 2016 % of Change

Burglary

47 37 -21%
Theft 173 162

-6%

Assault

30 27 -10%
Drugs 69 53

-23%

Case Numbers Drawn

3467 3321 -4%
Homicide 0 0

0%

Arrests

338 294 -13%
Calls for Service (all) 8820 9529

8%

Traffic Stops

1649 1535

-7%

Chief Miller explained how the theft statistics indicate an increase or drop in certain types of crimes, mostly thefts. “We’ve been told there are people out there who give them shopping lists for a theft. That they should go to Walmart and pick up these items and we’ll give you drugs when you do.”

He said the department, working with the district attorney’s office, will charge them with a burglary when they’re caught. Miller explained that the strategy behind this is to prevent the crooks from going back into the store every again.  “We’re telling them they can’t be in Walmart again and even if they do and are caught stealing a pack of gum, they’ll be charged with a felony as they are now in the store unlawfully.”  He said the word is getting out about this practice and it restricts the movements of how the criminals can conduct their trade in the community.  “This is more of an angled approach, but we can still go out and kick some doors in and take away the drugs when we find them,” he told the council.  The Chief said store employees are also on the lookout for people who have been barred from the store and they’ll keep the department up to date on those actions.

Year to Date Statistics for May 2015 compared to May 2016

May 2015 May 2016 % of Change

Burglary

15 4 -73%

Theft

39 29 -26%
Assault 8 4

-50%

Drugs

10 14 40%
Calls for Service 711 672

-5%

Homicide

0 0 0%

Arrests

76 63

-17%

Traffic Stops 337 251

-26%

Code Enforcement 331 326

-2%

Dispatch (Calls Answered)

2699

2528

-6%

Administrator Sutherland said it took the two years to pass so the city had some solid statistics with which to work, “You can’t make this kind of an assessment with just a couple of months to go on. Now we can compare the numbers to see what impacts the efforts are yielding with this new software and it helps the department plan their next approach.”

By Russ Baldwin

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Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedHot TopicsLaw EnforcementPolice ReportPublic Safety

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