Thursday’s meeting of the Murfreesboro City Council included a presentation of annual crime statistics by Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman, several road abandonments, and scheduling of a public hearing for rezoning property along Memorial Boulevard.
Chrisman reported that crime had decreased in Murfreesboro significantly from 2010 to 2011 in five key areas which are reported to federal agencies and factor into national statistics.
Incidents of homicide fell from five cases to three, which represents a 67 percent reduction. Cases of rape dropped 28 percent from 40 to 29, and robbery fell from 180 cases in 2010 to 125 in 2011, a 31 percent decrease.
Automobile theft saw the largest reduction, with 15 cases in 2010 falling to only 3 in 2011, an 80 percent drop.
“We saw a lot of this in 2010,” Chrisman said. “We believe it is related to high metal prices, with many old vehicles being stolen for the value of their various metals.”
Incidents of larceny fell the least with only a three percent reduction.
“Would you give me a definition of larceny?” Councilman Doug Young asked.
Chrisman responded that it is defined as “theft not accomplished by breaking and entering or putting someone in fear for their life.”
Areas of future concern for Chrisman included a 12 percent increase in the rate of assault and a three percent rise in burglary.
Mayor Tommy Bragg said focusing task forces in certain areas of the city where crime rises seems to be working.
“Burglaries were a focus for us,” Chrisman responded.
He said the department directed patrol resources to protect cash and title loan locations where robberies seemed to have been rising, as well as commercial shopping centers during the holidays.
“Violent crime decreased dramatically in Murfreesboro last year, which means our city is safe for all of us, our residents and our visitors,” Chrisman concluded.
Members of the council then set March 1 as the date for a public hearing concerning rezoning of property along Memorial Boulevard from Planned Commercial Development and Local Commercial containing 1.3 acres.
A few road abandonments at Cherry Laurel Lane, Blue Raider Drive and Stephenson Drive were also considered, gaining unanimous approval.