The LaGrange Rotary Club Wednesday got an in-depth look into how crime is handled by the LaGrange Police Department.
Detective Chris Pritchett, crime and intelligence analyst for the LPD, was the guest speaker and explained how the department tackles crime.
Intelligence-led policing incorporates crime analysis, which means the team puts together maps of the community, identifying where each type of crime is committed and locating “hot spots.” The intelligence aspect is to identify who is doing what and with whom, Pritchett said.
Pritchett said one of the department’s biggest burglary-related successes was a rash of incidents in the Lakewood area of Piney Woods. Using crime analysis and intelligence, the police department was able to catch suspects in the act because the burglary happened about the same time that he had predicted.
Investigative analysis identifies behavioral analysis of what people do and trends, such as the types of buildings, time of day, weather and other conditions in which the crimes happen.
Pritchett noted that in 2012, the number of burglaries was up 2 percent, to 461 from the 450 cases in 2011; entering autos was down 2 percent, from 239 to 232; and auto thefts was down 20 percent, from 86 to 68.
“For every burglar we catch, he’s committed at least 50 others that we don’t know about,” Pritchett said.
He then explained a program called The Last One (TLO), an online investigative system that many law enforcement officers use. TLO can research the background of any individual.
An important crime tool that Pritchett explained, and encouraged Rotary members to use, is the website www.crimereports.com. On the website viewers can view a map that shows where each crime takes place, and where sex offenders are living.
The website also allows viewers to sign up to receive alerts when a crime occurs near their homes. He recalled an incident where someone saw a person walking down the street with a TV, and did not report it. He said that’s where the community can play a part on the website — by reporting it.
Since the majority of people are on facebook, he suggested to “like” the LaGrange Police Department’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/lagrange.police to receive updates on crimes and to submit tips.
“We’ll watch the crime rate decrease if we can get everyone involved,” Pritchett said.