Crime, crashes decrease in Thomasville
Thomasville Police Department credits a data-driven approach to law enforcement for a decrease in crime and crashes.
According to statistics released by the department, six of eight target crime areas in 2013 experienced a decline — rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and arson. Auto thefts and murder increased. The number of roadway crashes decreased.
Two years ago the department adopted a Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) in an effort to focus its attention on problem areas across city.
Chief Jeff Insley feels the approach helps his department to act more efficiently.
“I believe the data is indicative that we have had some successes in regards to some of the initiatives we've implemented,” Insley said. “Our police officers and support staff strive to create safe and livable neighborhoods throughout our city.”
Using information obtained through the DDACTS model, the department concentrated patrols in specific areas to reduce drug-related crimes, larcenies and burglaries as well as traffic accidents.
TPD in conjunction with the DDACTS information utilized community input to help determine and address problem areas across the city.
“Our staff is always vigilant to detect and deter criminal activity, as well as engage with members of the community as part of our community policing strategy,” said Insley.
While the department reported more vehicle crashes in 2013, the data revealed fewer roadway wrecks.
Lt. David Tilley said total crashes increased in 2013, but the number of roadway wrecks fell. Thomasville experienced an increase in parking lot accidents last year that caused the overall numbers to go up. Weather and deer also factored into the data.
Randolph Street reported the most traffic crashes and. National Highway came in second.
“That’s why the analysis is so important,” Tilley said. “We’re trying to look at the total picture so we can address issues that are in our control.”
A majority of crashes, Tilley said, are caused by failure to reduce speed and placing officers in target areas helps slow down motorists.
“We can’t do anything about minor fender-benders,” said Tilley. “It gets people’s attention. When you slow people down and get their attention, it helps a lot. We do a traffic study to find out what the real issues are.”
In 2013, Thursdays replaced Fridays as the worst day for crashes.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Murder reports increased from zero in 2012 to two in 2013.
• Assault reports dropped from 97 to 64 for a 24 percent reduction.
• Rape reports fell from seven to six for a 14 percent reduction.
• Robbery reports declined from 38 to 34 reports for an 11 percent reduction.
• Arson reports decreased from seven to one, for a drop of 86 percent.
• Larceny reports fell from 1,019 to 796 for a 22 percent decrease.
• Burglary reports dipped from 293 to 274 for a 6 percent decrease.
• Auto thefts recorded a 44-percent spike as the number of reports jumped from 18 to 26.
• Total crashes increased from 936 to 951
• Roadway crashes fell from 671 to 663
• Randolph Street reported the most traffic crashes in 2013 with 168 or 25 percent of the total number for the city.
• National Highway came in second with 56.
• Thursday crashes jumped from 142 to 206.