The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is reporting some significant progress in lowering the crime rate concerning certain offenses.

In comparing the crime statistics for the period of November 1, 2017 through April 15, 2018 against November 1, 2016 through April 15, 2017, the number of criminal offenses has dropped quite a bit in some categories.

The crime reductions are as follows;

11/1/2016 – 4/15/17                11/1/2017 – 4/15/18

Overall Offenses                        1,112                                       946

Assault                                       361                                          308
Burglary                                     137                                          91

Theft                                          546                                          479

Auto Theft                                 39                                            30

The percentage of the crime reductions are as follows;

Overall Offenses            15% reduction

Assault                           15% reduction

Burglary                         34% reduction

Theft                              12% reduction

Auto Theft                     23% reduction

Total calls for service during the same time period have remained comparable.

The vast majority of thefts, robberies and burglaries occur at night.  The cover of darkness makes it too easy for criminals to watch for headlights and simply step back and hide in the shadows waiting for the police to pass.

TAPD strives to continuously develop and utilize the most effective approach to crime suppression.  One of the valuable tools the department uses is crime analysis.  This involves systematic analysis for identifying and analyzing patterns and trends in crime and disorder.  This information helps law enforcement officers deploy resources in a more effective manner and assists detectives in identifying and apprehending suspects.

In conjunction with newly developed techniques, traditional styles of policing continue to be highly effective.  Knowing this, the department has officers patrol on bicycle, on foot or in under cover vehicles, so they can better blend in with the targeted environment where most offenses occur.  This has resulted in identifying individuals who are casing a neighborhood or catching criminals in the act of a crime.

The department states regardless of all tools and techniques available, this would not have been possible without the dedication and determination of our highly professional police officers.

The reduction in crime the department has worked hard for in the last 6 months may possibly erode away due to a personnel shortage.  At present, police say they are ten  positions short due to six on injury leave, two frozen positions, and two vacant positions.

The department says the only time they can deploy extra crime fighting techniques is when positions are filled. Authorities say their first and primary responsibility is to ensure there are enough officers to cover each patrol beat to answer 911 calls.

The department says the major concern from the public, at present, is the possibility of an active shooter situation in our city. They recently created a position to specifically investigate any intelligence information or threats that come to their attention, as well as training schools, businesses, churches, etc., in how to prepare and handle an Active Shooter.  This Officer has been overwhelmed with requests and has already worked five cases with seven suspects related to this new position.

The Threat Assessment and Intelligence Officer will be providing training soon to City Hall, other City departments and employees.