Just the facts

Published 12:02 am Saturday, February 4, 2012

As Sgt. Joe Friday of “Dragnet” fame says: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

We could say a lot about the influence of Washington police Chief Glenn “Mick” Reed on policing efforts in the city, but there is data that say it better than we can. And Reed, who resigned as chief effective Feb. 29, would be the first person to say it’s the men and women of the Washington Police Department who deserve credit for gains made by the department since he became its chief in June 2007.

In 2010, WPD investigated 2,464 crimes, solving/clearing 1,912 of them.

In 2010, WPD solved 45 percent of the 643 Part 1 offenses — homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, larceny and vehicle thefts — that are part of the Uniformed Crime Reporting information WPD is required to track. In 2009, WPD solved 39 percent of those crimes. The state average is around 30 percent.

Of the 224 incidents reported in December 2011, 41 percent were closed and cleared by an arrest, 27 percent are inactive, 24 percent remain under investigation, in 5 percent the victim refused to cooperate and 3 percent were unfounded, according to WPD data.

In the first six months of 2010, the number of reported major crimes — murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson — totaled 325, down from the 364 reported for the first six months of 2009 and down from the 442 reported in the first six months of 2008, according to data provided by the department.

The department’s annual report for 2011 has not been released yet, but it’s coming soon.

The decline in the crime rate in recent years can be attributed in part to the continued success of Project Next Step and another project, DREAM, which stands for Dedicated to Rebuilding, Educating and Motivating youth and the community.

On Dec. 3, 2010, Project Next Step received an Award of Excellence at the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission’s Safe Communities Conference in Greensboro. The award recognizes agencies that make achievements in improving the criminal-justice system, establishing safer communities and improving the quality of life for North Carolina residents.

“I am absolutely convinced (that) with the last five years we, we will never be content with our results, but our relationship with our community, our statistical signs of progress, our recognition at the state level — when you have the director of the Governor’s Crime Commission speak to the N.C. (Association of Chiefs of Police) and specify the Washington Police Department in particular for positive work,” Reed said earlier this week.

Enough said.