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Police release 2011 numbers

The numbers are in for 2011 and they show Farmington was statistically still one of the safest communities in America in which to live and do business.

Chief of Police Rick Baker presented the 2011 crime statistics to the city council Monday evening. The numbers showed instances of most crimes held steady as compared to 2010.

The police department responded to 15,152 calls in 2011, up only one percent from 2010. While the number of calls were not significantly less than other communities of comparable size, the “clearance rate” — the ability of the department to solve crimes, bring offenders to justice, recover stolen merchandise — is noticeably better than the national average.

Farmington officers worked 673 traffic accidents in 2011, down from 723 in 2010. The officers issued 2,076 tickets, compared to 2,369 the previous year. They also made 107 driving while intoxicated arrests and 20 other alcohol-related offenses.

The chief reported that officers worked 120 drug incidents amounting to 134 arrests. Of those, 118 offenders were adults and 16 juveniles. The department made 32 marijuana cases, nine cases for methamphetamine including six meth labs, one heroin case, two cocaine cases, 12 cases for illegal prescription medications, and 89 counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. The department’s drug agent handled 71 drug investigations.

As for other crimes, misdemeanor stealing accounted for 52 percent. Assault cases totaled 18 percent, while felony stealing amounted to 12 percent. Burglaries accounted for four percent of all crimes, with motor vehicle thefts only two percent … well down from the national average. Officers investigated five rapes, totaling one percent of all crimes. Nearly half of those cases were “unfounded”, meaning there was not enough proof to file charges in the case. Historically most incidents of rape in the community involve a victim and attacker who knew each other prior to the attack, as opposed to random acts of violence.

The final one percent of crimes fell under the heading of robbery. Both instances in 2011 involved drugs as a motive.

Baker also gave some details about the police department’s canine officer, Figo. Last year the dog was used for 21 searches of buildings, two routine school searches, 74 searches of vehicles and three apprehensions of fleeing suspects.

The chief of police compared last year’s numbers to previous years and the national average. With an estimated population of roughly 16,000 as of the recent census, and several hundred businesses licensed in the community, the odds of an individual or business being directly impacted by a crime is still extremely slim.

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