The Chief's Blog
Annual Report 2014
After countless hours of compiling and sifting through data, attempting to summarize a year’s worth of significant incidents and events, and attempting to properly recognize those individuals who made the most exceptional impact on the Marysville Police Department, and more importantly the community – I was proud to present the 2014 Annual Report to the Marysville City Council on May 19th. The 30 page document is available to those interested at the Marysville Police Department (316 6th Street), but I will recap some of its highlights here.
Though not quite as much so as in some past years, statistics show that 2014 was a very busy year. In 2014 the public called us for assistance over 15,000 times – nearly a 2% increase over 2013. Emergency 911 calls saw an even larger increase over the previous year, at just shy of 6% (A total of 10,764 such calls). The largest increase in service-type calls, however, was police officer “self-initiated” contacts. These types of call types include contacts ranging from traffic stops and other criminal contacts, to simply stopping to introduce ourselves or converse with a member of the public. Marysville Police Department officer’s conducted more than 8,000 self-initiated calls in 2014 – a more than 6% increase over 2013. All told, The Marysville Police Department handled more than 900 additional service incidents (Which include calls for police or fire service, emergency 911 calls, and officer initiated contacts) in 2014.
Interestingly enough, we saw a decline in several other statistics in our year over end comparison. Total reports taken for 2014 dropped below 4,000 total reports – a 1.6% decrease from 2013. Total arrests were down 3.5%. Most importantly, however, we saw a decrease in both Part I and Part II crimes. Part II crimes fell from 133.8 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2013, to 131.7 crime per 1,000 residents in 2014 – a decrease of 1.6%. Part I crimes fell to an even larger degree. In 2013 we saw 51.9 crimes per 1,000 Marysville residents. In 2014, that number fell to 48.1 crimes per 1,000 residents – meaning citizens were 7.3% less likely to be a victim of those types of crimes.
Part I and Part II crimes make up the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), and are official data on crime in the United States, published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). These statistics are reported by individual agencies, compiled from UCR data, and published annually by the FBI. Part I crimes are felony crimes and include some of the most heinous offenses – including homicide, rape, and robbery. Part II crimes are lesser offenses, consisting mostly of misdemeanor level violations.
Analyzing data, especially over a small sample size, can be difficult, but the data for 2014 looks to be very encouraging. As shown, the Marysville Police Department made many more contacts with citizens and visitors of the city in 2014 (when compared to 2013). The increase in contacts would not seem to correlate with the decreases experienced in reports, arrests, and criminal activity – so what does it mean?
First of all, it means that the public trusted us enough to call us for assistance more than in the past year – even though less of those calls were due to criminal activity. More calls and contacts, and less crime, means that we made many more “non-criminal” contacts with the public in 2014. Any contact we can have in a non-criminal, non-custody setting has a great opportunity to be a positive contact. It provides a forum for education, communication, and increased trust.
Again, while it is very early to make scientific conclusions on a small sample size of data, we here at the Marysville Police Department believe the statistics are no mere coincidence. A decrease in crime, along with increases in non-criminal contacts, are hallmarks of community oriented policing – and hopefully positive signs that the department’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Program, which began on January 1, 2014 is taking strong hold.
Aaron W. Easton
Chief of Police