WILLIAMSON — Crime might be higher in and around Williamson, but the elevated numbers may actually be a positive thing.
Williamson Chief of Police and Mingo County Drug Task Force Commander, C.D. Rockel, presented the city’s crime statistics for 2012 to the Williamson City Council during its Wednesday night meeting.
Rockel told the council that the increased crime statistics between Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012, is believed to be a result of a full complement of police officers for entire year as opposed to operating at half staff for 2011.
The chief also noted that all of his officers had been assigned vehicles by way of the Ming County Comisssion, Mayor Darrin McCormick and the Williamson Council, allowing for better coverage in the city.
Lastly, he mentioned that a more aggressive approach to identifying and enforcing criminal elements and statues had been implemented.
In total, the WPD received:
• 247 criminal complaints during 2012, compared to 211 last year, roughly a 17 percent increase.
• 470 moving and non-moving violations, compared to 277 in 2011, a 70 percent increase.
• 82 arrests were made in 2012 (24 felony, 58 misdemeanor). 2011 saw 45 arrests, a 31 percent increase.
• There were 72 accident reports in 2012, an increase of 31 percent compared to the 55 in 2011.
• The WPD had five death investigations in 2012, equalling 2011’s amount.
Also in 2012, there were:
• 25 assaults;
• 20 burglaries;
• 27 thefts;
• eight stolen vehicles (six recovered);
• two forgeries;
• four cases of fraud;
• one case of embezzlement;
• 20 cases of destruction of property;
• 13 drug violations
• one prostituion case;
• 19 obstructions;
• one escape;
• four weapons violations (which includes brandishing)
• six cases of public peace, public intoxication (Rockel noted that public intoxication was usually combined with another crime.)
• one sexual assault;
• one robbery
• 16 others, including child neglect, wire tapping, other larcenies, EPO violations, false reports, even trash complaints.
• 85 cases are still pending due to waiting on arrests, needing more witness information or requiring further investigation.
Rockel sid that the national average usually hovered at 50 percent on solved cases, but the WPD’s percentage was at 66 percent for 2012.
The chief was also able to narrow down the most accident prone streets in Williamson: Fourth Avenue has the most accidents, followed by Second Avenue and U.S. 119.
“Not many of them are speed related, mostly just people not paying attention,” Rockel said. The chief noted that the roads all see a lot of traffic and said that he wasn’t sure how to prevent them from happening.
“Accidents just happen,” Rockel said.