Locust Police responds to highest volume of calls in at least six years

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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With a population increase of more than 2,000 since 2000, Locust Police Department has seen a gradual uptick in call volume in recent years.

As part of its 2022 annual statistics report, Locust Police responded to 6,704 calls, a 16% increase from 2021, when officers responded to 5,771 calls, and the highest call volume seen by the department since call statistics were first tracked in 2016.

The data compiled by the department shows that while there were increases in certain criminal activities — such as a 19% uptick in call types related to theft and fraud, there was a slight decrease in assaults and no incidents of robbery or murder.

“The final numbers do indicate that in 2022 despite a rapidly growing city, Locust remains a very safe city with an overall low volume of crime and criminal activity,” Chief Jeff Shew wrote.

A few data points from the report include:

  • an 11% increase General Law Enforcement/Criminal Activity calls, driven mainly by a rise in traffic offenses (from 80 in 2021 to 139 in 2022) and weapons violations (from 14 in 2021 to 18 in 2022).
  • 278 calls related to theft and fraud, driven largely by larcenies reported by local businesses, which increased by about 38% (from 141 in 2021 to 194 last year).
  • calls related to alcohol/drugs decreasing about 13%, including a 10% decline in drug offenses (from 82 in 2021 to 72 in 2022).
  • 18 assault offenses, down from 19 in 2021. For violent crimes, there were four sex offenses last year, down from six in 2021.
  • 387 total arrests last year compared to 320 in 2021. This is mainly due to notable increases in minor charges (+28), failing to appear for warrants (+13), driving with a revoked license (+10) misdemeanor larceny (+7) and concealed weapon violations (+7).
  • a nearly 8% decrease in General Service calls, though there were upticks when it came to calls for service and assisting motorists.
  • a 13% increase in total citation charges, including a 25% increase in vehicle violations such as an expired registration and 4% increase for speeding.
  • 211 traffic crashes, the highest total since 2018, when 214 were reported.

Locust officers completed 24,768 patrols of neighborhoods and businesses in 2022, down from 28,422 in 2021.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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