Danville Express

Newsfront - March 2, 2007

Police chief says crime is down

Commercial burglaries, car thefts, strong armed robberies and shoplifting are up

by Jordan M. Doronila

The Danville Police Department has seen a reduction of crimes in the community this past year, according to its annual report.

Danville Police Chief Chris Wenzel gave a presentation on his department's 2006 annual report to the Town Council at its meeting Feb. 20.

The department has 30 police officers for the Danville population of 43,000. Wenzel said his staff's desire to do quality police work, and the support it receives from the town have kept Danville safe.

"The community is involved," he said. "The town is totally involved."

"We all work together," he added. "It's a total team concept."

The total number of "part one" crimes, which include burglary, homicide, robbery and theft, has decreased by more than 60. In 2006, the total number of part one offenses was 518, which was 88 less than in 2005.

Residential burglaries, aggravated assault and bicycle thefts have also decreased. In addition, thefts such as purse snatching and pick-pocketing have gone down substantially, from 180 in 2005 to 79 in 2006.

On the other hand, some crimes have increased, such as commercial burglaries, car thefts, strong armed robberies and shoplifting. Moreover, calls regarding disturbing the peace, and being drunk in public have grown in number.

From 2005 to 2006, commercial burglary calls have gone from 37 to 44; thefts from locked cars have increased from 71 to 90; and thefts from unlocked cars have increased from 118 to 133. Shoplifting has gone up from 42 calls to 47, and strong armed robbery has increased from four calls to nine. The use of a threat is involved in strong armed robbery.

Also the number of calls for child abuse, uncontrollable juveniles and possession of controlled substances has been reduced, according to the report. Trespassing has decreased as well.

Wenzel said his staff has focused on abating certain crimes, and sometimes there is not enough manpower to concentrate on quelling all offenses to the fullest extent.

Nonetheless, crimes such as residential burglaries have gone down, according to the report.

"We did a good job of taking people off the streets so they wouldn't do any additional crimes," said Danville Sgt. Troy Craig.

Contact Jordan M. Doronila at jdoronila@DanvilleWeekly.com

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