LA VERGNE - The official release of the “Crime in Tennessee 2012” Report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed what Police Chief Mike Walker suspected: The city of La Vergne in 2012 experienced its lowest crime rate in at least a decade.
Along with that statistic comes the good news that among the larger cities in Rutherford County, as well as 12 cities of comparable size throughout the state, La Vergne has the fourth lowest rate for Group A crimes (felony crimes). The La Vergne crime rate in 2012 was lower than both Smyrna and Murfreesboro.
“A sign of a good leader is someone who surrounds themselves with qualified, smart people,” said Chief Walker. “We have had the great fortune of hiring and retaining incredibly talented, professional law enforcement officers and it is my privilege to work with each of them. This team is a force to be reckoned with.”
In 2012, the crime rate had dropped a whopping 54 percent to 5,181 from its highest rate of 9,258 in 2005. Most recently, it dropped 7 percent from 2010 to 2011 and 17 percent from 2011 to 2012, or about 24 percent in the last two years.
“I have heard people remark that the actions in the last two years at City Hall and at the Police Department have disrupted lives and they have said ‘it would all come out in the wash soon.’ I am here to tell you this laundry is looking pretty good right now,” said Mayor Senna Mosley. “We are seeing a direct correlation between the Board adequately funding and equipping our law enforcement officers with this drastic reduction in crimes committed in our city. I am incredibly proud of our police force, every single one of them in patrol and crime suppression, criminal investigation, dispatch, and administration.”
Total offenses have fallen 20.2 percent, crimes against property have fallen 39 percent, and arrests are up 5.6 percent. However, domestic violence offenses continue to be of great concern.
They make up more than 51 percent of all crimes against persons in the state and 40.2 percent of the crimes against persons in La Vergne.
The first action a victim of domestic violence can take is contacting the police to report the incident. A hospital will treat any wounds, as well as helping to document injuries. A victim may then seek shelter in a safe place and file a protective order.
“Our police are available at any time, day or night, to help any victims of domestic violence or other crimes,” said Chief Walker. “Our duty is to ensure the safety of lives and property in La Vergne and we will do everything in our power to protect our community and its citizens.”