In our community, we enjoyed the safety of a small town. We know our neighbors and generally take for granted the peace of our lives. The recent burglaries in Storybrook have challenged that sense of safety for many of us. The idea of anyone’s home being violated is more than the physical crime, it is a violation of our sense of well-being.
Today, I express my sympathy to every resident that has ever been a victim of crime. At the same time, I am proud of the Police Department and their efforts to combat criminal activity. In the case of Storybrook, every effort has been made and will be made to keep residents safe.
Clearly, in the newspaper, I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation. Also, I think that it is reasonable that residents take the advice of the Police Department to lock windows and doors, turn-on outside lights, call-in suspicious activity, but at the same time to live your life. No coward in the night can make us a prisoner in our own community.
The City Manager expressing pride in the Police Department is not front page news. However, I will always stand up for any person, be that person a police officer, firefighter, utility worker or street employee that cares about our community. I know that it is more popular to play the game of wallowing in the pig pen. I know that negative sells, but I have confidence that our corner of the world is different.
Not that long ago, I talked about crime at a City Council meeting. If you recall the following information, I apologize for the repetition. Nevertheless, I think that it is of value to reflect on the information that follows.
Crime in the Year 2014
|Population||14,072 (1)||10,476 (4)||12,455 (3)||13,469 (2)|
|Violent crime||30 (3)||50 (1)||19 (4)||32 (2)|
|Property crime||629 (3)||573 (4)||632 (2)||674 (1)|
|Larceny/Theft||490 (3)||434 (4)||579 (1)||548 (2)|
Expressed Per 1,000
|Violent crime||2.1 (3)||4.7 (1)||1.4 (4)||2.3 (2)|
|Property crime||45 (4)||55 (1)||50 (2/3)||50 (2/3)|
|Larceny/Theft||35 (4)||41 (2/3)||46 (1)||41 (2/3)|
|Police Officers||19||Not reported||Not reported||23|
Source of information: FBI Crime in the United States 2014
Clearly, the information is only for a single year. I did not intend to complete a detailed statistical analysis of crime, I just wanted to illustrate what most of us already know, our hometown is relatively safe. Also, the information is intended to illustrative a point and the information is not intended to be boastful. In any given year, events like burglaries in Storybrook can affect how the community appears in terms of the number of crimes.
The numbers are interesting, but people matter a lot more. You need to be able to go about your life with a reasonable expectation that you are safe and the folks in the uniform need to know that we are all on the same side. Recently, Brian Hottinger, Police Chief talked with Storybook residents at a neighborhood meeting. Brian’s experience at the meeting was positive, like me he wants nothing more than to resolve the burglary problem.
Again, I want you to understand that I am proud of the efforts of the Police Department. Pride in the efforts of the Police Department does not imply a lack of pride in other functions of the City. Simply, the burglary issue has focused attention on our Police Department. Together, we make a difference every day and together we will continue to succeed.