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Demopolis sees drop in crime rate

The city of Demopolis has seen a drop in crime in each of the last six years, according to data released by the Demopolis Police Department.

DPD Chief Tommie Reese released the 2014 annual crime report at last Thursday’s Demopolis City Council meeting. The report indicates that crime in 2014 in Demopolis was down approximately 10 percent from 2013.

“We’ve been able to use better patrol tactics, therefore our officers are more visible on the roads and can come across more things happening,” Reese said. “Our violent crimes are down, and our overall crime is down.”

Of the violent crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery and assault, homicides dropped from one in 2013 to zero in 2014, rape increased from three in 2013 to four in 2014, robbery decreased from 13 in 2013 to eight in 2014, and assault decreased from 45 in 2013 to 35 in 2014.

One of the crimes that saw a significant increase was unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle. This was due to a string of vehicle break-ins last spring.

“Those crimes went up due to the string of break-ins we had,” Reese said. “A lot of those, though, were from vehicles being left unlocked. People like how things are with the low crime rate and have gotten complacent, but we need to be sure to lock things up to help prevent this from happening.”

Reese also commended his officers for going above and beyond in their training. The Alabama Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission requires that officers in Alabama complete at least 12 CEU hours annually in order to stay active in law enforcement. Demopolis’ officers receive an average of 45-50 CEU hours annually.

“It’s important for us to have well-trained officers to keep our community safe,” Reese said. “For the number of officers we have, we’ve done very well to keep our crime rates low.”

Reese added that although there are some cases from 2014 that remain open, his department is diligently working to close them.

“We’re continuing to solve cases all the time,” he said.