Dekmar reviews LaGrange crime statistics for previous year
Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2019
During last week’s LaGrange City Council meeting, Police Chief Lou Dekmar went over his department’s annual report for 2018.
The LPD had 54,160 calls for service in 2018, an increase from 52,844 in 2017. Although murders increased from 1 in 2017 to 5 in 2018, other Part I crimes, or serious crimes, decreased in the city of LaGrange. Robberies fell from 65 to 41, burglaries dropped from 273 to 162, motor vehicle theft went from 86 to 70 and arson went from 4 to 0. Rape cases increased from 3 to 4 and aggravated assaults rose from 75 to 88.
The LPD has solved three of the five homicide cases from 2018. According to Dekmar, since 1995, the LPD has worked 61 homicides and has cleared all but 10, resulting in an 84 percent solvability factor on homicides.
USE OF FORCE
Use of force incidents increased by 1.26 percent in 2018. According to previous public safety reports, the LPD had not fired a weapon since 2012 until June 2018, when a man fired at officers from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office and LPD.
Suspects required medical treatment six times in use of force arrests, according to the public safety report.
“This year we had a fatal-police shooting with response for mutual aid for the county,” Dekmar said at the council meeting. “That was an individual that fired a shot at county deputies and then there was a standoff.”
Ninety-three percent of the more-than 54,000 calls for service ended without an arrest.
The LPD arrested 3,803 people in 2018, down from more than 4,200 in both 2016 and 2017.
According to the report, the LPD worked less crashes in LaGrange in 2018 than in 2016 or 2017. There were 2,290 crashes in 2018 and 376 involved injuries, or 16.4 percent. There were two fatalities in wrecks in LaGrange in 2018.
The LPD had 12 pursuits this year, refusing to engage in 8 of them.
There 5,975 traffic citations issued in 2018 and 11,224 warnings given out. That means 34 percent of traffic citations resulted in a ticket being issued.
The LPD’s K9 unit had less calls for service in 2018 with 3,140. That’s a drop from 3,275 in 2017 and 4,259 in 2016.
Animal services has seen a large change in its numbers over the years. Since the LPD took over animal services in 1998, euthanized dogs have decreased from 3,028 to 795 in 2018, a 74 percent decrease. The number of euthanized dogs also dropped significantly from 2017 when 1,226 dogs were euthanized.
The number of dogs impounded has dropped from 1998 as well, going from 4,000 then to 2,812 in 2018.
That number did rise slightly from 2017. Calls for service have almost quadrupled from 1998, going from 2,754 to 8,370 in 2018.
“Through working with dog owners, educating dog owners, we have been able to reduce the number of dogs and animals we’ve had to impound,” Dekmar said.
The number of gang cases continued to drop, falling from 66 in 2017 to 58 in 2018. Gang related shootings increased from 2 in 2017 to 7 in 2018, but overall gang cases were down.