LPD leader discusses crime statistics | News

LAFAYETTE, Indiana (WLFI) — Gun violence has increased in Lafayette over the past four years.

News 18 sat down with the chief of the Lafayette Police Department to break down the most recent statistics, what those numbers reveal, and how it will take a community effort to change them.

“Two percent of the people in this community do about 95 percent of the work that we do here at the LPD,” Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly said.

That’s what Flannelly said the department has spent the past few years trying to change.

“People come and go,” Flannelly said. “They move from place to place, and crime follows people.”

According to LPD statistics, there were 111 thefts in 2020, but that number was halved in 2021.

Flannelly credits the work of several different groups within the department.

“We try to give them the best possible information in the most timely manner possible, so that we can identify trends, patterns, issues as early as possible,” he explained.

However, gun violence is Flannelly’s biggest concern. He said the number of shootings started to increase in 2018 but then doubled in 2019. They peaked in 2020 but things started to improve last year.

“Fortunately this year, we’re seeing those numbers go down again,” Flannelly said.

There were seven homicides in 2020, and Flannelly said that’s the most the city has seen since the late 1970s.

Lafayette committed six homicides last year, but Flannelly says there is little police can do to stop violent crime.

“There are educational things we can do, there are community outreach things we can do that can hopefully educate people and turn the tide on some things, but ultimately we react when something happens,” Flannelly added.

He said education is key to creating a safer community.

“That’s what it takes to reduce crime in the community,” he said. “If you just ask the police to do that, you’ll never have success. It just won’t work that way.”

Although the department has expanded its community outreach activities, it said everyone must play their part by volunteering for programs, especially those involving young people.

“It’s not what you say that sets your priorities. It’s what you do that sets your priorities. So if we want a safer community, we all have to do our part.”

Flannelly says another way to prevent crime is through communication, and he urges people to say something when you see something that doesn’t look right.

Flannelly also encourages people to sign up for the The next door application.