The agenda for a regular meeting of the Abilene Commission in February included a document containing statistics on policing and community involvement from the Abilene Police Department titled “Highlights and Accomplishments of the Abilene Police Department ‘Abilene in 2021’. Based on the statistics, a chart was made for criminal cases, prosecution rate, traffic stops and ticketing statistics issued for 2021 included in the document and with 2020 and 2019 statistics requested from the police department.
Criminal cases have remained relatively the same over the past three years as all statistics are in the low 200s. There were 242 in 2019, 285 in 2020 and 289 in 2021.
The chase rate is a new statistic the department has been tracking since it updated its statistics software, said Anna Hatter, police chief. The rate rose in 2021 from 55.4% with 158 in 2020 to 67.1% with 194.
Roadside checks in 2021 increased from a pre-COVID-19 year in 2019. The number of checkpoints from 2020 to 2021 nearly doubled, with 1134 in 2020 and 1766 in 2021. The same was true for issued tickets. The number of 2020 tickets, 134, more than doubled in 2021 to 405.
“Overall, I’m happy with our enforcement efforts for 2021. However, we will always work to improve,” Hatter said in a later interview. “For 2022, our app will focus on proactive patrol and traffic. We will focus on safety infractions such as speeding and compliance at red lights and intersections. These are the issues for which we receive the most complaints from citizens and which contribute to traffic accidents directly affecting public safety. We will also conduct directed patrols of Abilene schools during start and exit times to limit violations that create hazards for students.