FARMINGTON – Thirty-eight percent of the crime reported during 2005 in Farmington were assaults. The Farmington Police Department recently released its crime statistics for 2005. The department responded to 15,161 calls, which is up four percent from 2004.
The police department responded to 822 accidents and made 1,102 arrests. Of the arrests, 111 were drug related, 94 were DWI’s, and 34 were other alcohol related offenses such as; underage possession or purchasing alcohol for a minor.
&#8220Farmington is a safe community as far as serious crimes against persons are concerned,” said Police Chief Rick Baker. &#8220In 2005 these types of crimes constituted only two percent of the total crime statistics. There was one reported homicide, five reported robberies, all of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution, and nine reported rapes. Seven of the rapes resulted in arrests, or request for prosecution. In every reported rape case the victim knew the assailant. None of the cases were random acts of violence.”
Baker said that assaults counted for 38 percent of the total crime statistics.
&#8220Assaults are generally broken down into two groups; simple assaults and aggravated assaults,” Baker said. &#8220Simple assaults, commonly referred to as misdemeanor assaults, can be a mere threat of physical harm, to assaults which cause minor physical injury.”
Baker said there were 389 simple assaults, 380 of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution.
&#8220Aggravated assault, commonly referred to as felony assaults, are determined by either the severity of the injury, or by the use of a weapon, or dangerous instrument or both. There were 34 reported aggravated assaults, all of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution.”
Baker said crimes such as burglary, stealing and vehicle thefts constituted for 59 percent of the crime statistics.
&#8220There were 22 business burglaries reported, five of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution,” Baker said. &#8220Our city has over 800 businesses including churches and schools, it’s still pretty good odds that your business will not be burglarized. There were 21 residential burglaries, nine of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution. The national clearance rate for these types of crimes is 13 percent, our burglary clearance rate was 33 percent.”
Baker said his department received 29 reports of motor vehicle thefts.
&#8220Fifteen of those cases were cleared,” Baker said. &#8220Twenty-five of the twenty-nine vehicles were recovered and either returned to the owner, or turned over to the proper insurance company. The national recovery rate for stolen vehicles is 63 percent. Our recovery rate was 86 percent. The national clearance rate for stolen vehicles is 13 percent, our rate was 50 percent.”
Baker said in over 90 percent of the reported stolen vehicles, the doors were left unlocked and the keys were left in the vehicle.
Like in most communities Farmington does have a drug problem.
&#8220There is a drug problem in every community,” Baker said. &#8220If any community says they don’t, they’re sticking their heads in the sand. I think our problem is improving with stiffer penalties being passed by our legislature. However, something we need to work on is rehab. We need more money to go into rehab for methamphetamine users.”
Baker said residents can help head off potential drug problems in their neighborhoods.
&#8220Neighbors can keep eye out for what’s going on in their neighborhoods,” Baker said. &#8220If they notice an unusual amount of traffic coming from one place or some suspicious activity, they can give us an anonymous call or even send us an unsigned letter. This has worked great in the past and has led to a large number of our drug arrests.”
Baker said as far as the number of calls his department responded to versus the amount officers he has, his department is actually short four officers.
&#8220We have a formula that was recommended by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association,” Baker said. &#8220The formula takes into account officers that actually respond to calls. It does not count me or the assistant chief, the detectives or the animal control officer. According to it, we are four officers short. Can we handle the load? Yes. Our officers do a good job. Sometimes we get bogged down, but if you look at our clearance rates, you see that we are getting the job done”
Baker said even though crime is increasing due to the growth of Farmington, it is still a community where residents can feel safe as far as serious crimes against people.
&#8220As far as crimes against property, a little crime prevention could go along way,” Baker said. &#8220Start locking vehicles, residences and keep a closer eye on personal property.”