HPD puts focus on community

Published 7:53 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

Brian Harr, Hogansville Chief of Police, gave the police department’s annual report to the Hogansville State of the City last Thursday. During the meeting, Harr outlined where the department has flourished and where additional work is needed. 

Harr reported the HPD saw a 31 percent decrease in Part 1 offenses in 2018. Part 1 offenses include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny and arson. In addition, for the second year in a row the city saw no murders. 

While the HPD did see a rise in burglaries, from 18 in 2017 to 22 in 2018 and in other crime metrics as well, one of the more telling statistics in the report was the 2.6 percent reduction in the number of individuals arrested in 2018. 

“We dropped our arrests because of de-escalation and community involvement,” Harr said. “We don’t feel that we have to take a person to jail just because we can. That has a negative effect on the community.”

Harr also said the department has been working with more juvenile offenders to prevent re-entry into the court system and has made a concerted effort to be more active in the community.

“We set goals every year in January of where we’d like to see the police department (go), not just as a department as far as (reducing) crime, but what we’re doing in the community as well,” Harr said.

Harr’s words ring true and are reminiscent of the policing style in other areas of Troup County as well. The LaGrange Police Department and the West Point Police Department both put a premium on community relations and involvement and have seen positive impact as a result. 

Annual crime reports such as the one delivered by Harr are developed in order to show departments and city brass where a city’s law enforcement is succeeding and where it needs additional resources. 

The report delivered by Harr showed that the HPD is making strides, chief among the reasoning behind these strides is the effort put forth by the police department to engage with and de-escalate situations in the community.