ELIZABETHTOWN — The Elizabethtown Police Department is stomping out crime, one footstep at a time.
In April 2016, the Elizabethtown Police Department began a program of aggressive traffic enforcement and high visibility within the town limits. The effort involved traffic checkpoints, neighborhood patrols, and nighttime focus on the downtown business district. Visibility was promoted through random foot patrols downtown, contact with business owners, and interaction with town patrons.
The efforts worked. A comparison of 2016 crime with 2015’s numbers for the town showed the following:
— Residential breaking and entering cases dropped 46.8 percent.
— Business breaking and entering dropped 40 percent.
— Motor vehicle breaking and entering dropped 50 percent.
— Only 196 crimes were reported in 2016, compared to 262 in 2015.
— The overall number of cases assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division dropped 25.1 percent.
“I contribute this drop in crime to the hard work and dedication put forth by the men and women of the police department,” said Police Chief Tony Parrish.
“At a time when the crime rate is up all across our country, the fact that our police department has such a good relationship in our community with our citizens and is bringing the crime rate down at the same time means we are doing something right,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell. “We pride ourselves in having a safe community to raise our children, and we have a great police chief and officers that are there to make sure it remains that way.”
It’s not just town officials and staff who like the renewed focus.
“I’m glad they’re doing what they’re doing,” commented Regina MacIntyre, who moved to the area four years ago from an urban area up north. “One of the reasons I moved was to get away from hoodlums. I have noticed the police out a lot here — you can hardly go anywhere without seeing them. It makes me feel safer.”
Since crime is on the decline, Parrish said the department won’t be changing its focus any time soon.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he remarked. “We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing — high visibility.”
In addition to reducing the crime rate, the police department, during 2016, began a new promotional process relying solely empirical information, transitioned to a new Glock firearms at no cost to the town, and participated in the Governor’s Safety Program, which allowed the department to purchase five new Golden Eagle Radar units and one Alco Sensor.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.