Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Sheriff police report fewer crashes in 2012

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Fatal and personal-injury accidents in unincorporated Porter County plummeted last year—both to five-year lows—while traffic enforcement spiked.

Those are the trends highlighted by the Porter County Sheriff’s Police 2012 report.

Begin with enforcement: last year officers executed 18,914 traffic stops, fully 34 percent more than the 14,100 in 2011, and more than twice as many—fully 131 percent more—than the 8,187 conducted only five years earlier, in 2008.

Since 2008 the number of traffic stops has been steadily growing, by an average annual rate of 24 percent.

Coinciding with increasingly robust traffic enforcement is a decline in accidents of all kinds.

•The PCSP investigated five fatal crashes in 2012, compared to eight in 2011, a drop of 38 percent. Those five fatalities, however, also represent a drop of 71 percent from the 17 in 2008. There were 14 in 2009 and 16 in 2010.

•Personal-injury crashes fell by 9 percent last year to 334, compared to 368 in 2011; and by 24 percent, compared to the 434 in 2008. There were 343 in 2010 and 383 in 2009.

•Property-damage crashes fell by 9 percent as well to 1,162, compared to 1,273 in 2011; and by 23 percent, compared to 1,500 in 2009. There were 1,282 in 2010 and 1,348 in 2009.

•Hit-and-run crashes fell by 3 percent to 101, compared to 104 in 2011; 97 in 2010; 105 in 2009; and 118 in 2008.

Crimes Against Property

•Meanwhile, the PCSP investigated 184 burglaries in 2012, an increase of 5 percent over the 176 reported in 2011. The five-year low for reported burglaries was 127 in 2010; the five-year high, 280 in 2009.

•Thefts, on the other hand, fell by 8 percent last year to 659, compared to 718 in 2011. The five-year low for reported thefts was 604 in 2010; the five-year high, 823 in 2009.

•Vehicle thefts dropped by fully 20 percent last year to 51, compared to 64 in 2011. The five-year low for reported vehicle thefts was 40 in 2008; the five-year high, 64 in 2011.

Crimes Against Persons

•The PCSP investigated two homicides in 2012, the same number as in 2011. There were no homicides reported in 2010; and one each in 2009 and 2008.

•The PCSP investigated three rapes in 2012, compared to four in 2011. One rape was reported in 2010; and two each in 2009 and 2008.

•The PCSP investigated two robberies in 2012, compared to three in 2011. Five robberies were reported in 2010; one in 2009; and two in 2008.

•The PCSP investigated 194 assaults in 2012, one fewer than in 2011 and a five-year low. The five year-high was 287 in 2010.

Uniform Crime Report Totals

All told, the seven categories tallied by the Uniform Crime Report Part 1 submitted to the FBI—homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and auto theft—reflect a 6 percent drop in 2012 compared to 2011; and a 17 percent drop from the 1,318 in 2009 and 2008.

Total Incidents

Total PCSP incidents in 2012 were 42,214, an increase of 8 percent over the 39,169 in 2011; and 33 percent over the five-year low of 31,79 in 2008.

There were also 4,659 911 calls in 2012, a whopping increase of 66 percent over the 2,806 in 2011 and a five-year high. The five-year low was 1,656 in 2008.

K-9 Unit

Last year the PCSP’s K-9 completed 30 tracks (37 in 2011); made 16 apprehensions (23); seized 705 grams of marijuana (12.662 kilograms); 32 grams of heroin (3.3 grams); 1 gram of cocaine (zero); and 102 items of paraphernalia (63).

In addition, the K-9 unit was instrumental in the seizure of $4,400 in U.S. currency (zero in 2011).

Animal Control

Animal control officers—now under PCSP jurisdiction—seized or collected a total of 853 animals in 2012, exactly double the number in 2011.

Some of the animals: 474 dogs (289 in 2011); 228 cats (125); 77 rabbits (zero); 49 guinea pigs (zero); eight chickens (zero); seven horses (eight); three snakes (zero); two pot belly pigs (zero); and one alligator (zero).

 

Posted 3/7/2013