Kettering police saw overall drop in serious crimes in 2020, but some doubled

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

KETTERING — Serious crimes dropped overall last year in Kettering as the city saw reported offenses decrease in the vast majority of categories tracked.

Fewer rapes, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts were reported in year marked by COVID-19 than two years ago. But homicides and robberies edged up while aggravated assaults and arsons doubled, according to Kettering Police Department data.

Kettering’s total number of Part I offenses as defined by the FBI dipped from 851 two years ago to 813 in 2020, records show.

These crimes include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.

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COVID-19 orders and restrictions played a role in overall crime numbers nationwide, law enforcement officials have said. But the KPD has stressed maintaining a visible presence to help deter crime, said Patrolman Tyler Johnson, its public information officer.

“I just know as a department we’re extremely proactive in trying to prevent crimes,” he said. “I think that’s a reason. But…you can’t put your finger on one thing or even a handful of things.”

Under coronavirus restrictions, “we remained out there engaged in the community, following proper guidelines,” Johnson said.

“But…we didn’t change how we did our job,” he added. “So we continued to be out there just as much as we always have been. I think we were seen more because there was less of the community out.”

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Reported rapes went from 26 in 2019 to 23 last year while burglaries dropped from 138 to 91 over the same time, according to the KPD.

Vehicle thefts decreased from 51 to 47.

Meanwhile, two homicides were recorded in 2020, up by one from two years ago. Aggravated assault went from 15 to 40 and arsons doubled, going from three to six over the same time, records show.

Kettering also saw a drop in Part II offenses, which include charges involving vandalism, weapons and narcotics. The number of those crimes reported went from 2,839 to 2,043 in the past two years, respectively, according to police.

Kettering last year also saw a nearly 40% drop in the number of traffic citations from 2019, records show.

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Citations went from 3,732 to 2,281 as OVIs (156/99), driving under suspension (820/494) and speeding tickets (605/337).

A drop in violent crime nationwide has been reported for three straight years starting in 2017, according to an FBI report in September 2020.

After decreases in both 2017 and 2018, the violent crime rate dropped an another 1% in two years ago, the FBI said.

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Kettering police recorded decreasing numbers in several criminal categories last year compared to 2019.

CATEGORY 2019 2020

Traffic citations 3,732 2,281

Traffic accidents 932 594

Criminal reports 3,878 3,209

Part I offenses 851 813

Part II offenses 2,839 2,043

Arrests 3,227 1,290

Total calls for service 54,079 53,856

SOURCE: Kettering Police Department.

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