Police stats show lower crime rates in Upper Arlington

Upper Arlington Police Chief Steve Farmer says statistics compiled by his division show the number of thefts, auto thefts and burglaries have declined, in some cases dramatically, since 2018.

Farmer, who compiled a report last month on crime statistics and goals for the Upper Arlington Police Division, largely credited better analysis of criminal activity in Upper Arlington and renewed efforts to improve the Community awareness of recent downward trend.

According to its report, the number of reported thefts in the city rose from 366 in 2018 to 370 in 2019 before dropping to 327 in 2020 and 235 in 2022.

The report also notes that the number of reported thefts from vehicles increased from 98 in 2018 to 94 in 2019, 66 in 2020 and 50 in 2021.

The number of reported burglaries and break-ins increased from 85 in 2018 to 59 in 2019, 47 in 2020 and 32 in 2022.

“These are crimes that kind of fuel other things, like drug addiction,” Farmer said. “These are the same people who commit other crimes.

“We believe that if we can focus on those, we’re not only serving the citizens…but we’re also addressing a bigger issue when we do that.”

Farmer said educating residents about the dangers of drugs and crime through the police department, the city and local schools is the best way to combat criminal activity.

He said the UAPD has sought in recent years to improve community awareness through its interactions with residents and programs such as the Citizen Camera Partnership, launched in February 2021, through which residents voluntarily authorize police to access surveillance footage of their home or business to help solve crimes. . An online crime map is also available at tinyurl.com/mbzrh6r3 which allows residents to track when, where and what type of crime is happening in the community.

Farmer said the UAPD’s body-worn camera initiative, which began last November, is helping to build the division’s transparency and public trust.

“We want to make sure people don’t fear the police,” he said. “We want to make sure they see us as (a) partner so we can work together.”

In February, moneygeek.com named Upper Arlington on 14th safest small town or city in the United States and safest in Ohio.

This study analyzed crime statistics by quantifying the cost of crime ranging from property loss to victim services and policing and corrections, as well as the impact on residents’ rates for auto insurance, l home insurance and tenant insurance.

The moneygeek.com study found that the average cost per crime in Upper Arlington is $65.

“It’s thanks to the great work of our security forces – police and fire – but it also really has to do with everything we do in city government,” City Manager Steve Schoeny said. “It’s about building a community that puts people on the streets and puts people in the community.

“Having people in the community is part of making it an attractive place to live and an unattractive place to do things you’re not supposed to.”

Farmer’s report also says the number of traffic accidents in the city increased from 496 in 2018 to 447 in 2019 and 308 in 2020.

However, the number of accidents increased to 331 in 2021.

The number of accidents with injuries fell from 52 in 2018 to 65 in 2019, 51 in 2021 and 52 in 2022.

When it comes to drug-related arrests, the numbers have recently increased significantly from 2018 and 2019, when there were 62 and 58 arrests respectively.

There were 125 drug arrests in 2020 and 167 in 2021, according to Farmer’s report.

He said the rise reflects a change in law enforcement, as opposed to a sharp increase in activity. He noted that former city attorney Jeanine Hummer and Joe Roush, the city’s criminal justice program administrator, brought to his attention the drop in drug arrests after 2019.

“We started an initiative at that time to kind of look at the problem,” Farmer said. “There is no evidence that there is a change in the activity. So we decided that we had to change the way we approached this.”

Farmer said the UAPD has begun charging people for drug-related offenses, which the division typically did not previously do.

“Our officers would arrest someone, for example, for drunk driving and that’s a first-degree misdemeanor,” he said. “If they had drug paraphernalia it’s a lesser crime. It’s a fourth degree misdemeanor. They would record it saying they took (the drug paraphernalia) as evidence, but they would destroy it (without charge) because it’s a lesser crime.”

Farmer said the UAPD changed its practices “and started charging because it’s a crime, and we allowed the city attorney to decide what to do with that evidence.”

He said the change better enabled the city to send people to the Upper Arlington Drug Court pilot program, which aims to get people into treatment instead of going to jail or jail.

“We hold people accountable, but that doesn’t mean they are always prosecuted to the fullest,” he said. “But it means we’re going to be able to help people find the help they need and identify the problem so we know how to fix it.”

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