Police Chief Pleased With Most Of 2016 Crime Stats

Selma Police Chief R.A. Cooper reviews crime statistics for his agency. JoCoReport.com Photo

While there was a slight uptick in some crimes in Selma last year, Police Chief R.A. Cooper said overall he was pleased with most of the numbers.

In 2016, police investigated a total number of 1,800 offenses up about 9 percent from 1,638 in 2015.  However, some crime rates fell last year. Aggravated assaults fell from 26 to 18, arson cases declined from 3 to just one, reported child sex offenses dropped from 8 to 4, break-ins were down from 135 to 134, vandalism decreased from 151 incidents to 132, and drug violations fell from 450 to 427.

Some other areas saw increases.  Minor and non-physical assaults rose from 49 to 72, resisting arrest numbers jumped from 50 to 76, while larcenies and robberies which are reported together increased from 254 to 299. Sex assaults involving adults rose from 2 to 5, and rape cases went from 2 to 6.

Some reported crimes remained nearly steady.  Alcohol violations were down from 84 in 2015 to 83 in 2016, weapons violations fell from 36 to 35, and disturbing the peace complaints went from 13 to 15.

“I was overall pleased with the statistics because last year was an overall good year and we pretty much didn’t see a significant change,” Chief Cooper told WTSB News. “Of course we’re always trying to better ourselves each year to improve. We were fully staffed most of the year which helps tremendously keeping the crime rate down. Also we were able to get a lot more officers in training classes which reflects on the increase in arrests and citations issued.”

The police chief said the crime report did raise some alarms.  “The two main concerns that stuck out to me were misdemeanor larcenies which were up and resisting arrests were up. We will look at ways to improve the larcenies if possible and also work on if possible getting the resisting arrests down if a situation is possible.”

Selma Police made 828 arrests in 2016 up from 726 in 2015.  A total of 366 traffic accidents were investigated up from 332 a year early.  Officers handed out 2,240 citations up from 1,940 in 2015.