Although the number of violent crimes reported to the Murfreesboro Police Department decreased last year, the overall rate increased by 1 percent, according to data released last week.
“We are pleased to see that reports of violent crime, specifically homicide, robberies and rapes, decreased in 2011,” Chief of Police Glenn Chrisman said. “While the reduction in violent crime is a significant step toward keeping our city safe, we will not stop with that success alone, as we set our aim at reducing all categories of crime.”
According to the annual report, officers responded to a record number of 101,194 calls for service in 2011, an 11 percent increase from the previous year.
The number of criminal charges filed against suspects also increased by 19 percent, and patrol officers issued 16,547 citations in traffic-related cases and 23,088 parking citations.
But while the homicide rate decreased by 40 percent, down from five in 2010 to three last year, and the number of reported rapes declined by 28 percent, data revealed a 12 percent increase of assaults, 3 percent rise in burglaries, and a 16 percent jump in motor vehicle thefts, according to the annual report.
Of the three homicides in 2011, two have been cleared by arrest and are awaiting trial, while one remains under investigation.
“A priority was placed on implementing strategies to reduce these categories of crime,” Chrisman said, referring to the violent crime data. “Now, we have developed strategies to reduce the number of burglaries and property crime that has risen slightly over the last year.”
The Police Department announced Friday that a Directed Patrol Unit has been formed to address crime problems.
“Working with the Criminal Investigation Division, Crime Prevention Unit and Uniformed Patrol, this unit has been largely successful at preventing violent criminal activity,” he said. “
Chrisman said despite an increase in nonviolent reports, he remains proud of the dedication and the desire of his officers in combating violent crimes.
“We will continue to work with our law enforcement and community partners to identify and incorporate innovative solutions to the safety and quality of life challenges our city faces from the criminal element,” Chrisman said. “Together we will continue to send a message that crime and criminal activity are not tolerated in Murfreesboro.”