By CHRIS AGEE
Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan recently released his department’s annual report, which showed a mixed bag of anecdotal crime statistics for the year.
“This one’s really a cause for celebration,” he said as he delivered the results to council members last week.
Violent crimes were down 11 percent overall, in large part due to a 75-percent drop in reported rape.
Eleven robberies during the year were more than double the amount reported in 2011, though. Assaults dropped from 353 in 2011 to 324 in 2012 – a decline of 8 percent.
Property crimes rose 10 percent in 2012, though the entirety of that increase is attributable to a 26-percent spike in thefts. Locals reported 771 thefts last year compared to just 612 the year before.
The two other categories of property crime – burglary and auto theft – were both down significantly, Sullivan’s report showed.
Burglaries fell by one-quarter from 231 to 173 while auto thefts were down by almost half.
Almost all measures of officer activity were higher in 2012 than the previous year, marked by a nearly 50 percent rise in calls for service.
Local law enforcement also responded to more than 56 percent more crashes last year.
A total of 3,862 total incidents represents an increase of more than 13 percent in 2012, compared to 2011 and officers issued 2,623 citations – a jump of 23 percent.
Sullivan said he counts on his officers to make the right decision when performing their duties.
“I don’t push citations,” he said. “I want them to stop the violators ... but the decision on what they do with them after they stop them is up to them.”
Warnings issued, the only area showing a decrease, fell from 1,979 in 2011 to 1,690 last year, or 14.6 percent.
Sullivan’s report also included highlights from the MWPD budget for fiscal year 2012-13.
Salaries and wages rose about eight percent, the report shows, which is largely attributed to a 38 percent increase in group insurance rates.