Year To Date 2014 Crime Statistics (Press Release)

by Police Administration, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 15:18 (1495 days ago)

ABILENE, TX – In the last 45 days, your Police Department has met challenge after challenge. It began with a terrible homicide that saw a 22-year old woman die because of domestic violence. Her child was also shot during this offense, which rightfully shocked our community. The following week your officers continued providing services in spite of a massive hail storm that damaged everything in its path, including 73 police vehicles. And less than 24 hours later, they were investigating another murder in the 400 block of Portland. The Police Department’s Mission is simple – We work together to build a community of the highest quality for present and future generations.

To that end, we need the community’s help. Thus far for 2014, property crimes have increased by 9%. The really discouraging news is property crimes have seen an increase every year for the past two years. This trend is going in the wrong direction, and we need your help to reverse it. Of the 538 car burglaries reported this year, approximately 376 were unlocked. That is completely unacceptable. Items stolen include firearms, electronics, purses and other valuables. Crimes such as these can only occur when three things are present – desire, ability and opportunity. We can only control opportunity, but the evidence would suggest that we, the citizens of Abilene, are not preventing these opportunities.

Shoplifting has increased dramatically. There were 407 incidents this year compared to 290 the previous year. We are thankful that our retailers are catching these criminals, but we regret that so many offenders continue to shoplift.

Regarding violent crime, which is composed of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, you will see some better news. Robberies are down, and aggravated assaults are holding steady. You will notice a sharp increase in Rape. Please remember that last year we warned our community that this would happen because the FBI changed the definition of Rape as it relates to the Uniform Crime Report. Prior to 2014, the definition only classified rape as forced intercourse between a man and a woman. The new definition that went into effect January 1st now encompasses all aspects of sexual assault, which is a more accurate assessment of rapes in our communities.

Drug abuse investigations have continued to increase, most notably prescription fraud. We receive 2 or 3 investigations every week, and very often these involve people who do not reside in Abilene. Domestically produced methamphetamine has fallen dramatically thanks to legislation that regulated the sale of ephedrine. However, foreign-made methamphetamine has increased locally, as has black tar heroin. Marijuana abuse remains static. We have evidence to support the belief that Abilene serves as a conduit for drug trafficking that originates from Mexico, eventually makes it to Interstate 20, then to the Dallas / Fort Worth area, and back to West Texas for distribution.

As you can see, your Police Department has been incredibly busy meeting the needs of this community. These examples reflect our continuing efforts:

• Your Police Department is fully staffed. The City Manager has worked closely with our Civil Service Director to maintain staffing levels.
• We have worked hard to increase our media footprint, utilizing Twitter during major events and our PIO’s have responded to all major crimes to ensure our community was aware of unfolding events.
• We have solved both murders this year.
• Numerous divisions have worked together to arrest a group of armed gang members who were pledging violence as part of their gang affiliation. They committed two armed robberies before being arrested, and fortunately no one was hurt. Their quick apprehension undoubtedly prevented further violence.
• Several incidents at Kirby Lake have been investigated successfully, one of which led to the arrest of a man who shot another person.
• An armed robber was arrested after robbing four convenience stores. Again a quick apprehension prevented more robberies and possible injuries.
• And lastly, the Department continues to work closely with the Abilene Neighborhood Initiative, as well as Connecting Caring Communities, Regional Victim Crisis Center, Noah Project, Child Protective Services, One Kingdom, and Love and Care Ministries.

The Department must have the community’s help. We are only successful if we work together. With that in mind, here is what we need from you:

• Inventory your valuables at home, by make, model and serial number.
• Remove valuables from your car; lock the car; remove the keys; no exceptions!
• Report suspicious activity.
• Lastly, remember that you are the first line of defense against crime.

Thank you for working with your police department to build a community of the highest quality. On behalf of all police employees, I can sincerely say that it is an honor to serve in a city that respects and trusts their officers. We are thankful, and we are thankful for your help in reversing these crime trends.

Chief Stan Standridge

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