Archive for Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Major crimes continue to drop in Bonner, Edwardsville

March 13, 2013

Overall public safety in the Bonner Springs and Edwardsville area continues to improve, according to local police departments.

The Bonner Springs and Edwardsville police departments each recently reported their crime totals from 2012. While some incidents, like traffic accidents, increased in both cities, both said total numbers of serious crimes like homicide, rape and burglary were down compared to 2011.

From an investigation into prostitution activities at two massage parlors, narcotics investigations that resulted in several arrests of drug dealers, and the initiation of the Standard Response Protocol in USD 204 schools, Bonner Springs Police had a busy year.

Bonner Springs Police saw a mix of increases and decreases in its 2012 crime totals, but it was the fourth consecutive year that the city had a decrease in violent criminal activity such as homicide, robberies and rapes.

The department saw a slight decrease, 8 percent, in calls for service, which totaled 10,028 in 2012. While overall the Part I crimes — those tracked by the federal government — increased, there were no homicides, two robberies compared to three in 2011, and no reports of rape, compared to one in 2011.

Cases of auto theft also decreased from eight in 2011 to five in 2012.

However, cases of assault and cases of theft each increased by 36 percent. Assaults totaled 71 in 2011 to 97 in 2012; thefts increased from 197 in 2011 to 269 in 2012. Burglaries also increased slightly, from 23 to 28.

Traffic accidents saw a 34 percent decrease overall, though there were three more injury accidents in 2012 than in 2011, when there were 22. However, the accident totals only were those recorded by Bonner police and did not include accidents on Kansas Highway 7 or Interstate 70 recorded by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The total number of arrests for the year increased, with 687 in 2012 compared to 629 in 2011. Total DUI arrests dropped by half — 84 to 42 — but arrests for alcohol-related offenses more than doubled, from 91 to 192. Those arrests include minor in possession of alcohol.

Warrant arrests also increased from 136 to 180, and domestic violence arrests increased from 16 to 26.

Another increase was seen in animal control calls, with 820 reports filed, 81 more than the previous year, and 266 animals were impounded, 149 more than in 2011. Hoever, thanks to the city’s new partnership with Bonner Animal Rescue, adoptions of unclaimed, impounded animals increased, and the number of animals euthanized dropped from 25 percent of those impounded to 11 percent.

Mark Mathies, chief of police and fire for Edwardsville, also reported a drop in serious crimes but increases in other areas.

Edwardsville police also an active year with a few high profile events, including an armed robbery of a Pizza Hut delivery driver, investigation of an endangered runaway who was recovered safe and sound 11 months after being reported missing, and one homicide in which the suspected perpetrator committed suicide.

Mathies said the city’s current crime rate is 24.7 per 1,000 persons, a decrease from 28.0 in 2011, meaning the city’s serious crime fell 14 percent compared to the previous year.

Though serious crimes decreased, the city saw a 17.75 percent increase in the number of reported incidents and an 8.5 percent increase in dispatched calls for service. The number of citations issued increased 13.9 percent, and just as in Bonner Springs, motor vehicle accidents increasing 35.8 percent from 2011.

Mathies said excessive speed, hit and run and icy road conditions were all main contributing factors related to the accidents.

He said Edwardsville’s 2012 activity was dominated by property-related crimes, which has been a trend for the city. Drug-related incidents decreased in number, but the level of severity of drug-related activity increased. Mathies said after extensive investigation, the police think the activity is directly linked as motive behind a majority of 2012 burglaries and thefts.

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