MOUNT VERNON, NY — February 5, 2018 — Mount Vernon was a safer place in 2017, according to the annual compilation of crime statistics by the city’s Police Department, which show overall crime is down a dramatic 32% since 2011 across seven major crime categories.
Mayor Richard Thomas, joined by her, members of the department, and representatives of the New York Police Department, New York State and Westchester County Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and other law enforcement agencies, presented the statistics on Mount Vernon’s crime-fighting efforts at a press conference at City Hall today.
Year over year, the city registered drops in all the categories of crimes against people: rape down 42%, murder down 36% and aggravated assault 5%. Two of the four categories of crimes against property also dropped with robbery down 19%, burglary down 16%. Grand larceny was up 20% and grand larceny auto was up 21%.
Overall, the drop from 2016 to 2017 was 3%, which continued a strong, long-term, downward trend in major crime across Mount Vernon. When compared to last year, the statistics show a crime drop of:
· 8% from 2015;
· 10% from 2014,
· 29% from 2013,
· 23% from 2012,
· 32% from 2011.
“Our hard work is paying off in making Mount Vernon a safer city,” said Mayor Thomas. “Making our streets safe for our children, families, businesses, and visitors is the most important thing we do in government. These statistics show that the quality of life in our city is on the upswing and that the positive trajectory is sustainable, tangible and expandable in the future.”
Commissioner Harris pointed to a number of factors behind the drop in crime.
· Deploying personnel strategically. This anticipating and diffusing trouble by putting resources in places and situations where the probability of crime is high.
· Keeping criminals off the street. Working closely with the District Attorney’s office and the courts, the goal is to ensure follow up to policing with prosecutions, convictions, and incarcerations.
· Working in partnerships. The Mount Vernon Police Department is able to leverage its resources by forging strong alliances with the NYPD, the MTA Police, the FBI, the DEA, the state and county police and other law enforcement agencies.
· Engaging the community. School resource officers, cultural emersion training, the weekly publication of crime statistics, “Coffee with a Cop,” and “Bright Night, which leverages the surveillance cameras of merchants, are all activities designed to tighten the bonds between the police and the community.
“We are thinking outside the box,” Harris said. “To engage our partners and coordinate resources we are working in new ways. Externally, we are taking advantage of evidence-based research, and internally we are offering more and better training and leadership development.”
Tighter linkage between City Hall and the Police Department was also viewed as a positive factor. Each week, the mayor, the police commissioner and the leadership staff of the department conduct a one-hour meeting to address all levels of public safety issues.
Moving into 2018, the city’s crime-fighting capabilities will get a major boost from the swearing in of 15 new officers in January, as will the department’s morale with the permanent appointment of Harris as commissioner and the selection of other officers into key management roles.
“Many challenges remain,” Mayor Thomas said. “But the people, programs and policies we have put in place are delivering real results. I want to thank the men and women of the Mount Vernon Police Department for the bravery and dedication they demonstrate every day. Together, we are moving Mount Vernon forward and making our city safer.”
William F. Sweeney, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI New York Division also spoke to the partnership between the city and the FBI. “The FBI’s Westchester Safe Street Task Force is laser-focused on reducing violent crime in all the communities we serve. The City of Mount Vernon is an important partner in that effort. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the City of Mount Vernon and all our local, state and federal partners as together we target the most destructive elements around us.”
FIND THE LATEST WEEKLY NUMBERS HERE: https://medium.com/@MayorRichThomas/weekly-public-safety-report-1-8-2018-1-14-2018-6633db4da6ca
SOURCE: Maria Donovan, Mayor Richard Thomas, Press Office.