(Graph courtesy of MPD)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The overall crime rate in Murfreesboro continued to improve in 2013, falling by a solid 2 percent due to a reduction in violent offenses, according to new data released by city officials.
“The men and women who serve within the Murfreesboro Police Department are proud to see the results of their hard work and dedication represented in reductions in crimes, especially violent crime,” said Glenn Chrisman, chief of the Police Department.
Every resident who has taken a step to help make Murfreesboro safer should be proud that “our partnership is working, as demonstrated by two consecutive years of crime reduction,” he said in a press release.
The improved crime rate, which does not include the unincorporated areas of Rutherford County, is largely due to a decrease in the number of violent crimes, such as rape.
Based on the newly compiled data in the report, the number of reported rapes sharply declined by 36 percent, with 38 cases in 2013 compared with 59 the year before.
In 2013, the homicide rate also decreased from four to three, a reduction of 25 percent. Of those three reported homicides, officials said none remain unsolved.
“Arrests have been made in all three of the reported homicides,” said Sgt. Kyle Evans, public information officer for the Police Department.
He said the suspects in each case are currently awaiting trial.
In addition, the number of robberies fell to 134 from 141 in 2012, while assaults dropped by roughly 7 percent last year, according to the report.
During that same time period, however, the citywide arson rate increased from three cases in 2012 to nine in 2013, and the number of reported larcenies also rose by 7 percent.
Despite the increased number of arsons and larcenies, the drop in the violent crime rate is a victory for Murfreesboro law enforcement officials who spent much of 2013 trying to combat an unexpected spike in those types of offenses two years ago.
In 2012, the number of reported homicides, rapes, robberies and assaults all sharply rose amid stepped up efforts to combat the number of property-related offenses that had been plaguing the city in recent years.
In response, Chrisman announced in January 2013 that the Police Department would crack down on violent criminals, noting the increase was “unacceptable.”
Over the course of 2013, the Police Department continued to offer Rape Aggression Defense classes for women at various locations throughout the city, while officers ramped up patrols, in an effort to deter violent crimes.
While celebrating the progress, Chrisman said his department remains committed to combating crime and keeping neighborhoods safe.
“Together, we will not stop with the successes seen in 2013,” Chrisman said, “and will continue to work with residents and businesses to improve the quality of life for our citizens and visitors.”