XENIA — The City of Xenia continues to be a safe place to live based on the 2016 crime stats released by the police division.
Specifically standing out to Chief Randy Person is the dramatic decrease in the number of burglaries and breaking and entering reports, which has been on a downward trend since 2012, when 213 incidents were reported. There were 148 in 2015 and 138 last year.
“(It was) a nice decrease in burglaries and breaking and enterings,” Person said. “That’s a good stat … we had a nice drop there.”
Person said the key is to identify the burglar and get him or her off the street.
“My guys tend to know the bad actors,” Person said. “When we put a burglar away we tend to solve 15 to 20 burglaries.”
Thefts are on the rise and it’s mostly because of the growing heroin epidemic. Not only are medic crews busy, but the police are also taxed because of it. Larceny reports have gone up since 2014, spiking at 757 last year compared to 685 the year before and 626 in 2014. However last year’s number is still way down from 2013, when more than 1,000 were reported.
“With the increased narcotic usage that were seeing, that kind of makes sense that your thefts are up,” Person said.
In general, Person said he likes to look several years at a time and seek out the major increases.
“You have to look over a longer period of time instead of year-to-year,” he said. “What we look for are the spikes, not the dropoffs.”
Aside from the thefts, there were no major spikes or drops from 2015 to 2016. Assaults increased by 43 and there were just two more sex offenses than the previous year. Robberies were down, arson was down a bit and “other offenses,” which includes criminal damaging, phone harassment, fraud, counterfeiting and passing bad checks, were down as well.
“We’ve had a continuing drop off in crime,” Person said. “We’ve enjoyed that. As a smaller rural community we tend to lag behind what’s happening in the bigger cities anyway. It’s the type of community we are.”
Person is optimistic that the numbers will continue to trend the right way, especially since at some point in 2017 the police force will be back to its authorized strength of 45.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.