Crime in Danville is down for the first half of 2010. Police Chief Chris Wenzel said in a report to town council that there were significant decreases in a number of areas, including petty theft from cars, which dropped from 62 in the first half of 2009 to 38 for the same period this year. Grand theft from vehicles dropped from 20 to 14.
Burglary from vehicles -- which require the breaking of a window or the forcing of a lock -- went from 30 to 23 and residential burglaries decreased from 24 to 19.
The number of reports of drug possession dropped by more than 50 percent, from 17 to 8, and reports of vandalism also saw a decline, from 67 down to 36.
Accidents are also reported as down from 2009. In the first half of last year there were 82 reported accidents. In 2010 that number has gone down to 71. Injuries related to the accidents also saw a decline, from 26 to 22. Police also arrested fewer intoxicated drivers with DUI charges down from 37 to 18.
Wenzel is cautiously optimistic about the numbers.
"I just think that we'll see what happens in the next six months," he said, adding factors like the economy and kids out of school for the summer could play a role in crime for the coming months.
Still, Wenzel said he was pleased with the results. He credited the proactive approach his department is taking and work with the public for the decline.
"Officers are out in unmarked vehicles, checking the neighborhoods," he said, adding their efforts are bolstered by a dedicated group of police volunteers.
People keeping an eye out for potential crime is also a factor in the drop, he said.
"We reach out to the Neighborhood Watch groups in Danville, providing them with education and information. This in turn helps us because it gives us that many more eyes and ears in the community," he said.
Wenzel said Danville is a very safe community, with the majority of their cases being property crimes. He asked that residents continue to lock their homes and vehicles and report any suspicious activity to the police.
"Remembering to lock up is the number one way to prevent these property crimes," he said. "It's a good practice to get into and is one of the best ways to keep your family and your home safe."