Local law enforcement reviews crime stats as New Year approaches | News

With the arrival of the new year, many law enforcement agencies are looking at crime trends over the past year.

Lincoln Police Capt. Zack Tutten said violent and property crime in Lincoln was broadly stable with the 2020 numbers, but there may have been slight declines.

“It’s probably about equal,” he said, “there was probably another slight drop in violent crime and just on the basis, not statistics, just looking at the year there probably also has a slight drop in property crimes.”

Tutten said there was a big increase in crime in 2018 across the country and also locally. He said that since then the ministry has worked to reduce this. Tutten said his patrol division took specific action. An example he gives is when the city has seen several incidents of break-ins.

“We had a patrol plan for neighborhood checks, we had lists of subdivisions,” Tutten said, “and each officer was assigned specific areas and every night you had to go through them four or five times.”

He said this kind of work is not fun, but officers were able to recognize the need for it and take that extra step.

Tutten also said the department had 11,922 calls in 2021. He said that was a big increase from 2020, but only an increase of 405 calls from 2019. Tutten said the increase was likely due to the fact that people were simply more absent this year than last year.

“I think it’s just that there were a lot more people out there,” he said, adding that 2020 had a months-long stretch of no one leaving the house.

The captain also addressed a discrepancy between traffic citations and traffic checks. In 2021, Lincoln carried out 2,845 roadside checks but only wrote 1,420 citations.

“Honestly, I’d say only about a third of the cars stopped got a citation,” Tutten said.

He said people often receive multiple quotes at once, which can make the number seem higher.

St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray said his office has seen an increase in overall call volume, as have other departments, but has seen specific incidents fluctuate.

“Call volume has certainly increased every year,” he said, “it’s a trend that goes back many years.”

At the same time, the sheriff said burglaries have decreased, but assaults have increased.

“Anything you have to look at the year comparing year to year, you have to look at it in the context of the other factors,” Murray said.

He said a significant factor has been the COVID-19 pandemic which has contributed to different trends in both crime and normal life.

Murray said one odd feature is that regular vehicle theft is down, but unauthorized vehicle use is up.

In Talladega, Acting Police Chief John McCoy said crime statistics, like virtually every other aspect of recent life, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — in a good way this time.

“Across the country and here in our city, burglaries, robberies, robberies, aggravated assaults and most other crimes – with the exception of crimes against violent people – have gone down,” a- he declared. “The decline in property crime is linked to the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent increase in the number of people working from home during the pandemic. An occupied home is less likely to be burgled.

And Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore pointed out there was positive news coming out of even some areas showing increases.

“When you look at the statistics, you have to remember that what’s reported to the FBI, to the state, and to our system or is going to vary quite a bit,” he said. “For example, we might show a homicide that happened in 2020, that shows as unclosed, even though we made an arrest in 2021. The report shows an increase in sex crimes, but that’s largely due to the fact that the Crimes Against Children Task Force has started reporting crimes on the Internet to us. We get an alert when someone is reported, and we’ve had great success working with them.”

Deputy Chief Josh Tubbs pointed out that the county also started working with the East Metro Area Crime Center (EMAC) in Oxford, which pools the resources of many other agencies, has also had an impact, particularly on the investigation and closure of electronic and computer sites. crimes.

“Chief Partridge in Oxford should be commended for what he has done for the benefit of law enforcement across the region,” Kilgore said.

Tubbs added: “The last two years have been really difficult. But overall for the county, crime is down and clearance is up, which says a lot about our deputies and investigators.

Kilgore added that they were still able to post high resolution rates while the understaffing is even more impressive.

“They were asked to do more with less, and all of them really stepped up,” he said. “And it’s not just us, it’s all of law enforcement. People are working a lot more overtime just to keep the train on track,”

The county has seen an increase in reported thefts of motor vehicle parts, particularly catalytic converters, Tubbs said.

“They’re quite easy to steal and the materials they contain can be profitable when scrapped,” Kilgore said. “We are working with our legislative delegation to pass something like they did a few years ago when we saw so many thefts of scrap copper.”

Both were also quick to praise the work of the Talladega County Drugs and Violent Crimes Task Force.

“When drug crimes go down, property crimes go down,” Kilgore said. “With a constant focus on drug-related crimes, the task force is doing a fantastic job and our investigators are working closely with them.”