08/10/14 — Crime rate drops in mount olive

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Crime rate drops in mount olive

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 10, 2014 1:50 AM


MOUNT OLIVE -- Reported crime was down 21.81 percent in Mount Olive during 2013, according to figures released last week by the State Bureau of Investigation.

"I am proud of my guys and how they are doing their job," Chief Brian Rhodes said. "I want to think the town board for all of the support it has given us and for the new equipment, surveillance cameras and personnel.

"It has just been a combination of several different things. I am very, very proud of the staff and I thank (Town Manager) Charles Brown for leadership and support, too."

The rates were down for eight months with the largest drop of 55.10 percent in August. The town also recorded drops in January, 25.53 percent, March, 30.30 percent, July, 38.30 percent, September, 36.17 percent, October, 9.43 percent, November, 38.24 percent and December, 38.46 percent.

Months showing increases were February, 27.78 percent, April 3.45 percent, May, 29.63 percent and June, 12.90 percent.

According to the report, there were 355 indexed offenses in 2013 compared to 454 in 2012.

The totals for 2013, with the 2012 total in parenthesis, included:

* 1 rape (none)

* 8 robberies (17)

* 35 aggravated assaults (49)

* 88 burglar (123)

* 209 larcenies (258)

* 14 motor vehicle thefts (7)

The figures speak volumes about the efforts of Mount Olive's dedicated police officers and their leadership, Brown said.

"We did extremely well, and we are very proud of our department," Brown said. "We are better-equipped. We are better-trained, and I think the department is more dedicated and we are starting to see the impact of the surveillance cameras."

The department is currently one of the best-equipped departments in the state, Brown said

"As of this year, our officers will only have two patrol vehicles older than 2010; all vehicles are equipped with Remington 870 tactical shotguns, each patrol shift has access to AR-15 rifles; all officers have new Glock .40 caliber side arms obtained with a grant written by Chief Rhodes," Brown said. "All patrol vehicles are equipped with GPS devices allowing 24/7 tracking of all vehicles showing location, driving direction, speed, and other pertinent information.

"All vehicles are equipped with computers and printers for instant access to vehicle registration and criminal background checks.

The town has installed 11 surveillance cameras in the past year with plans for at least 13 more. The most recent installations resulted in three controlled substance arrests within four hours of being activated, Brown said.

"When all installations are complete, all entrances and exits to and from Mount Olive will be covered," he said. "Cameras are monitored at police headquarters and in individual patrol vehicles giving the department much greater coverage."