By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — —
Major crimes in the city of Mt. Vernon showed a decrease of 8 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to local law enforcement officials.
Chief of Police Chris Mendenall said earlier this week of the eight major crimes submitted to the federal government, the city showed an 8 percent decrease.
Aggravated batteries, burglaries and arsons all showed decreases over the two years measured, the chief reported, while thefts and motor vehicle thefts were up slightly. Mendenall said the feds require that only aggravated batteries with injuries be reported.
There were no homicides in the city during 2012.
According to information furnished by the chief, there were 19 sexual assaults in 2012, 26 robberies, 145 aggravated batteries, 218 burglaries, 661 thefts, 17 motor vehicle thefts and nine arsons.
Mendenall noted that not all crimes are reported to the federal government, such as property damage — personal and criminal — and simple batteries.
Drug arrests — including possession charges and meth-related charges — showed a significant increase over the past year. The city made 309 drug-related arrests, compared to 201 during 2011.
Mendenall credited his staff and other law enforcement officials for the drop in the crime rate.
“Over the last few years, we have had a very good working relationship with the Jefferson County State’s Attorney and the judicial system,” Mendenall said. “We’re all working together and when this happens, you can expect the crime rate will be reduced.”
Illinois crime statistics indicate a total downward trend in crime based on data from 11 years when violent crime was decreasing and property crime was decreasing.
Based on this report, the crime rate in Illinois for 2013 is expected to be lower than in 2010 when the state violent crime rate was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 62.71 percent and the state property crime rate was higher than the national property crime rate average by 23.37 percent.