Violent crime was among the few categories which showed an increase from 2018 to last year, rising from 51 to 55 offenses, Kettering records show. Homicides went from zero to one and forcible rapes jumped from 19 to 26.
But narcotics offenses went from 1,140 in 2018 to 739 last year while weapons offenses dropped from 102 to 51 in the same time, according to the KPD’s annual report.
Even higher numbers were reported for those same categories in Kettering during 2017. That year 1,388 narcotics offenses occurred in Montgomery County’s most populated suburb while weapons offenses totaled 114, city documents show.
Kettering’s drop in reported crimes came after “amazing progress” was made in the decrease of drug overdose deaths, according to Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services documents.
A 49% decline in overdose deaths occurred in 2018 compared to the previous year, county ADAMS records show, when the Dayton area was considered by many as the national focal point of the heroin and fentanyl epidemic.
Kettering’s 2018 crime activity totals were rooted in an effort that began a few years earlier, when the KPD hired several new, young officers that were part of a stepped-up, proactive patrol, Ferrell said.
Starting about 2015, officers commonly confiscated narcotics and illegal weapons during routine traffic stops, he said.
“We were taking weapons out of cars nightly,” Ferrell said. “Some of that, I think, was because people were carrying heroin for their own personal use and they worried about getting ripped off.
“So they were also carrying a weapon for their own personal protection,” he added. “But I was just amazed at the number of weapons that we were taking out of cars on traffic stops – and they also had drugs in the car.”
ACTIVITY 2018 2019
•Calls for service 60,348 54,079
•Traffic citations 5,927 3,732
•Criminal reports 4,307 3,878
•Prisoners booked 1,997 1,442
•Traffic accidents 1,098 932
•Violent crimes 51 55
•OVI 188 156
•Speeding 1,381 605
•Vandalism 206 151
•Weapons 102 51
•Property damage 957 838
SOURCE: Kettering Police Department