PEORIA – A report from the Peoria Police Department shows that the city is safer this year than it was last year.
Assistant Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell said, “Well, we're pleased that crime is down 11%."
Crime statistics released by the Peoria Police Department show a downward trend. Mitchell explained, “We have noticed over the last five years that crime has continued to trend down and there could be a number of reasons why that occurs.”
He credits the technology. Officers are equipped with better programming like Hot Spot Mapping. Upgraded technology allows for quicker response times. “It provides us with updated information that shows where the actions are happening and then what we can do then is concentrate our resources in those particular areas."
According to the department’s report, overall crime is down by 11 percent, criminal sexual assault is down by 8 percent, robbery is down by 13 percent, aggravated assault is down by 18 percent, and burglary is down by 17 percent.
The only increase is in the number of homicides, which is up 40 percent.
The city has had 14 this year, but Mitchell said most of those are gang-related or domestic. He said, “I think it's important the message get out that Peoria is safer than it was last year, even though our homicide numbers have flat lined over the past five years. We've averaged about 14 and that's exactly where we're at today."
He said the report is an indicator of successful initiatives, implemented over the past few years. With more time, he only expects the numbers to keep dropping. “It is a safer place than it was in years past, and I think next year it will be even safer than this year."
The Peoria Police Department is preparing to implement more new technology in 2014.
That includes the ShotSpotter, which is a high-tech gunfire detection tool that uses audio sensors to help police respond to a more exact location.