Demopolis traffic violations, violent crime down in 2012

The Demopolis Police Department issued its 2012 report Wednesday, revealing significant decreases in a number of violations and criminal activities from the previous calendar year.

“There were some that were down that were good. I’m satisfied with it,” Demopolis Police Department Chief Tommie Reese said.

The biggest statistical drops on the departmental report came in the way of traffic violations. While DUIs increased from 118 in 2011 to 120 last year, open container violations were down from 83 to 46. Drivers failed to produce insurance information 443 times in 2011 but were without required insurance proof only 255 times in 2012.

The DPD stopped 193 drivers with suspended licenses in 2011 but encountered only 121 in 2012. Similarly, those driving without first obtaining a license dropped from 153 in 2011 to 84 in 2012 and those driving with revoked licenses fell from 147 to 81.  Red light violations declined from 72 in 2011 to 26 in 2012.

The most glaring changes in traffic violation patterns came in the way of speeding tickets and seatbelt violations. In 2011, the DPD had 534 speeding cases. That number decreased to 214 in 2012. Seatbelt violations also trended downward, going from 722 in 2011 to 358 in 2012.

“I just think there might have been more verbal warnings given out than anything else,” Reese surmised of the changes in traffic cases. “You hope that after a period of time that compliance will come into place.”

Drug cases declined and felony arrests remained largely the same for the DPD but an already low violent crime rate fell again in 2012.

Assault cases fell from 48 to 36, robbery cases dropped from 11 in 2011 to seven in 2012 while the city also experienced zero reported rape cases in 2012.

“Violent crime is down,” Reese said. “It makes me feel good that it seems people are wanting to try to get along. The officers are out there doing their jobs. Officer presence means a lot.”

Property crimes also experienced a considerable shift as burglaries dropped from 25 in 2011 to 11 in 2012. However, the incidents of unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle went from two in 2011 to 29 in 2012.

“That comes from people not locking their cars. I’ve done a lot of (public service announcements) to let the public know that just because your car is parked in the driveway doesn’t make it anymore safe than parking it downtown,” Reese said. “We’ve got people now leaving their car doors unlocked and they have got valuables inside.”

Reese indicated he is pleased with the direction the criminal cases in the city are trending, crediting his department for their efforts in keeping the city safe.

“I just want to give applause to the department for making the city of Demopolls safe. Compare us to other places that have had rise in violent crimes and other violations,” Reese said. “Demopolis city has fared well. I attribute that a lot to the officers being aggressive and doing their jobs.”

To view the 2012 DPD report in its entirety, click here.