Crime in Tyler declined last year, according to preliminary data released by the Tyler Police Department.
The report shows that there were fewer violent crimes and property crimes in the city in 2021, and more people reported crimes to the police than in 2020.
There was a drop of nearly 5% for violent crime, which includes homicide, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault. 514 violent crimes were reported in 2020, compared to 489 in 2021. Robberies have seen the biggest improvement over the past six years.
In this category, there were five more homicides in 2021 than the previous year; 65 reported sexual assaults compared to 72 in 2020; 19 less burglaries; and four less serious assaults.
Property crimes include burglary, theft, and auto theft or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. According to the report, these two crime categories were more than 13% lower than 2020 data.
Additionally, burglaries and robberies saw a significant drop each with 171 fewer burglaries and 356 fewer robberies than in 2020.
The total number of property crimes rose from 3,303 to 2,830.
The statistics also showed that people were more actively engaged when it came to working with the police department with a 1% increase in all crimes reported.
“The past few years have presented significant challenges to law enforcement in our country and our community,” said Chief of Police Jimmy Toler. “Although we have seen an increase in reported crimes, I think it is a great sign of the trust and faith the Tyler community has in our officers.”
Toler said violent and property crimes are the most stable form of crime measurement because they are not driven by an officer but by a response to a report.
Toler said auto theft is one of the crimes they hope to better control in the coming years. He said part of the reason this crime has increased is due to an increase in car prices, making them less affordable for people.
The other category of crime in the report, which ranges from simple assault to disorderly conduct, has shown a mix of increases and decreases over the past year.
According to the report, drug offenses and arrests for driving under the influence have seen a sharp increase.
Drug offences, which are a leading cause of other crimes, fell from 940 to 1,389.
Likewise, the upward and downward trend in DUIs continued as offenses rose again from 280 to 345.
“We saw a significant increase in impaired driving due to the work our officers did on the street,” Toler said. “They’re doing what they’re supposed to do which is trying to make it safer and we’re happy to see that.”
Toler said the statistics are just a number reflecting the hard work of officers over the past year.
Some of Tyler PD’s efforts to help reduce crime in the city have been the immediate response to crime and the creation of a Priority Response Team, which targets areas where crime is typically high.
Toler said the priority response team is also used to deal with drug-related crimes and gang activity.
“We are pleased to see a reduction in crime as we continue to be a growing city,” he said. “I’m glad to see the numbers are going in the right direction, that’s the job of our police department and our officers.”
With violent and property crimes showing a significant decrease from previous years, Toler said the Tyler PD will not stop its attempts to make Tyler a safer place for its residents.
“We will continue to put agents in the field who will be able to react quickly and who will also want to work hard for the community,” he said. “The relationships they build with the community are what will continue to allow us to help solve the problems and continue to bring those numbers down.”