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Crime down, but workload up

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In 2011, there were a total of 6,745 prisoners processed at the Wilson County Jail compared to 6,235 the year before. Lebanon police officers also arrested more individuals last year, 1,619, compared to 2010 with 1,515 arrests.

Mt. Juliet had a decrease in incidents but an increase in arrests, from 788 arrests in 2010 to 810 last year. MJPD Community Policing Director Sgt. Tyler Chandler said the departments solvability rate is best in the county.

We are proud to know that our offense clearance/solvability rate remains the best in the county, and one of the best in this region. The solvability rate is also 21.73 percent better than the states average solvability rate, he said.

The rate shows what percentage of reported incidents is solved, or have their cases closed. In 2011, the WCSD had a solvability rate of 26.89 percent, compared to MJPDs 57.78 percent. The LPD solved 44.09 percent of its cases in 2011.

Bowen was pleased the departments reported incidents numbers fell in eight categories, including sexual offenses, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and more. Reported aggravated and simple assaults fell in Lebanon and Wilson County, but increased slightly in Mt. Juliet.

Theft and Larceny incidents decreased in Lebanon but increased in Wilson County and Mt. Juliet. Bowen said most theft incidents they receive are preventable. He indicated many thefts from vehicles occur when the vehicle is unlocked and that most home burglaries show no forced entry.

That means it was probably someone the homeowner knows or is acquainted with. I would venture to say the majority of crimes we see are preventable, he said.

In 2010, there were 235 reported burglaries in Lebanon and 453 in Wilson County, as well as 428 reports of Theft and Larceny in Lebanon and 185 in Wilson. Lebanons burglaries dropped to 225 and reported of Theft and Larceny fell to 329 in 2011. WCSD had 422 burglaries and 218 Theft and Larceny incidents last year.

Mt. Juliet experienced 77 reported burglaries in 2011 compared to 78 the year before and 79 Theft and Larceny incidents compared to 57 in 2010.

Violent crime is down, but weve got to remain vigilant on property crimes and burglaries, Ashe said.

Ashe was pleased with the fact that fewer juveniles were arrested in the county in 2011, but figures showed that Lebanon arrested more juveniles last year. According to the TBI reports, WCSD arrested 397 juveniles in 2010 and 321 in 2011. LPD arrested 81 juveniles in 2010 and 92 in 2011. Mt. Juliet arrested 168 juveniles last year compared to 133 in 2010.

Bowen was concerned with the rise of weapon-related arrests on the rise in 2011 and said while they havent had a murder, there have been more reports and arrests related to weapons than in the past.

Our weapons-related arrests were up 11 percent, thats alarming to us, he said.

LPD saw a decrease in Drug/Narcotics Violations in 2011 with 248 compared to 288 in 2011. On the other hand, Drug/Narcotics Violations saw a slight rise in the county with 164 reported violations in 2011 compared to 131 in 2010. Mt. Juliets Drug/Narcotics Violations also rose to 285 in 2011 from 270 in 2010.

WCSD also arrested 68 juveniles in 2010 on Drug/Narcotics Violations but only 31 in 2011.

Mt. Juliet experienced an increase in Motor Vehicle Thefts last year with 21, having 11 solved. In 2010, the department received reports of 12 vehicle thefts with three solved. At the same time thefts from motor vehicles dropped in Mt. Juliet from 107 in 2010 to 80 in 2011.

Mt. Juliet police officers and detectives have worked extremely hard this past year and their dedication in their duties and commitment to serving the community has had a major impact. This positive impact is clearly evident in the increase of our crime solvability rate, Chandler said.

Bowen said his department is partnering with to help the average citizen see reported crimes in the city and even on their street. The website automatically pulls data from the departments records to show those crimes on a map.

They can go to that site free of charge and see crime reported in the city, Bowen said.

When visiting the site, a citizen may enter a ZIP code or street address to see reported crimes as well as registered sex offenders living nearby. Bowen said the partnership with the website will be an important resource to citizens and the department.

We receive a lot of calls from people wanting to know this information as well as from people looking to move here and asking about crimes in certain areas, the chief said. It will also assist us internally with being able to pinpoint where crimes are going on.

Bowen said the department looked at offering this service to citizens internally, but pointed out the cost to the LPD would have been much greater than the monthly fee paid to the private company.

This is a very cost effective resource for us and the public, Bowen said.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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