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Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases


Date:
July 31, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Chief Tom Casady, Lincoln Police Department, 441-7237


CRIME IN LINCOLN FALLS DRAMATICALLY IN FIRST HALF OF 2008
Mayor says targeted neighborhood efforts must continue

Mayor Chris Beutler and Chief of Police Tom Casady released crime statistics today showing that overall reported crime fell by 19.4 percent during the first six months of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007. The Mayor attributed the good news to smart policing and good collaboration of the Lincoln Police Department (LPD) with the community.

“The men and women of our outstanding Police Department are doing their work smarter and utilizing their resources strategically,” Beutler said. “Our citizens also deserve a great deal of credit for this good news. Police are working closely with neighborhoods. Collaborative efforts like the Stronger Safer Neighborhoods initiative recognize that we can’t simply arrest our way out of crime problems. They are coordinating the resources of neighborhoods, rental property owners, non-profits and police to address root causes of crime. This comprehensive approach recognizes the connections between crime, poverty, blight and social behaviors to create change and stability.”

“This is the largest decline in crime I am aware of during our history,” said Casady, who began his career with LPD in 1974. “If this trend holds through the second half of the year, it will be a remarkable reduction in the actual number of crimes during a year when the population of the City is growing.”

The crime statistics are compiled by the Lincoln Police Department as part of the FBI’s national Uniform Crime Reporting program which tracks murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft and larceny theft. The overall number of those offenses was 1,286 fewer from January through June than it was for the first six months of 2007. There were 23 more robberies and two more rapes, while the remaining five offenses (murder, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and auto theft) all decreased.

Casady said some of the decrease is due to a change in reporting practices concerning drive-offs from self-service gas pumps. He said that change, implemented in August 2007, could account for about 400 cases of the 1,286 total. “Even factoring out the gas drive-offs, crime has decreased by 13.4 percent,” said Casady.

Crime rates in Lincoln peaked in 1991, and have fallen steadily since that time. Violent crime rates have remained relatively stable since 1991, while property crimes have declined. “Crime is only a small part of the workload of the Police Department,” said Casady, “but it is a critical part of our mission, and I am gratified at the continuation of a very good trend.”

To continue the positive trend, Beutler said the City must take three steps:

  • Reaffirm its commitment to targeted neighborhood initiatives. “The Stronger Safer Neighborhoods focus on a block-by-block approach to solving the problems that contribute to crime is critical.”
  • Focus efforts on problem areas. “At a time when the City budget is badly constricted, we were still able to make dramatic impacts on the crime rate. The police did it, not by increasing resources, but rather by focusing on the crime problems. A strategic approach is the most cost efficient as well as being the most effective at reducing crime.”
  • Maintain other City services. “Pools, libraries, and recreation centers keep young people busy during the peak hours when youth crimes occur. City programs that encourage new housing and new businesses help reduce the blight and disorder that breeds crime.”

Crime data are reported to the FBI by more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide and serve as the basis for most published crime statistics, crime rate comparisons and historical comparisons of crime reported to the police in the U.S.


Mayor's Office    Media Releases