Since October is Crime Prevention Month, it is the proper time to report to you on what I indicated we would do to help reduce crime in Bradley County.
We have worked to be more proactive in preventing crime by getting more citizens involved with us to keep crime out of their neighborhoods, or to take the neighborhoods back. In the past year we have brought 20 Neighborhood Watches into our communities and areas around the county. Hopefully, there will be 20 more in other communities this next year.
Other crime prevention efforts have also occurred since last October. We have conducted several Tennessee Handgun Permit safety classes, through which hundreds of Bradley Countians have obtained permits. We continue to take part in the National Night Out Against Crime every August. This upcoming year we plan to expand it into other areas of the county.
All of this, along with our enforcement efforts, has helped reduce crime and improve our solvability rate, which for the first six months of 2011 is 52.57 percent. For 2010 our overall solvability rate was 50.40 percent.
Both are well above the national average. That includes all crimes reported to us.
One of the primary crimes that affects many of our citizens and is one that we focus on greatly is burglary. For 2010 our solvability rate was 27 percent. Now, while that does not appear to be very high, nationally it is way above the national average, which is around 12 to 15 percent; but that is still not satisfactory to me and I plan to consolidate our efforts to improve upon the statistics.
During my election campaign I stated I would make sure we placed our primary focus on the crimes affecting all of us the most. I stated those crimes are burglaries, thefts, assaults of all kinds and traffic fatalities.
Since I took office we have had five homicides, snowstorms and ice storms, tornadoes and around a dozen traffic fatalities. These are the worst of the problems we have dealt with during this time. Our deputies have handled it all with professionalism and a caring attitude.
I am especially proud of the way our deputies handled themselves during the tragic events of April 27 and afterward. Many of their efforts went above and beyond in helping people and showing they cared. They also showed great diligence in catching people taking advantage of the victims of the tornadoes by stealing the victims’ property. Most of these thieves were caught, either in the act of stealing or shortly thereafter.
As I mentioned in a previous article, I will be starting a campaign soon to begin reversing the yearly trend of traffic fatalities in our county. I realize that it is a big task to stop all traffic deaths, but it is going to be my goal to begin reducing them as much as possible. Our main objective in this campaign will be making everyone aware that speed kills, but it will include enforcement, also. That is because warnings do not work with chronic speeders.
I will keep you informed about all this as each week passes and the campaign progresses.
Thanks for reading.