The crime rate in the Town of Normal is the lowest it’s been in 23 years, decreasing almost 70 percent since 1996.
The 2018 annual report shows that crime rates are down seven percent compared to 2017. The report measures index crimes which are eight crimes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation measures as a part of their uniform crime reporting statistics.
Criminal damage, DUIs, vehicular burglaries and weapons-related offenses all decreased. However, burglaries, assaults and batteries and drug offenses all increased in percentage.
“Drug offenses were up slightly and this was expected as we have increased enforcement activities involving gun and drug-related cases.” Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said.
Even with the increase in certain crimes, the amount of crime in comparison to the size of the community is significant, Bleichner said.
Bleichner attributes the drop in crime to innovative policing techniques and a dedicated police force, which helps keep the town safe.
“We aren’t going to give away all of our secrets,” Bleichner said. “All I can say is that we are attentive to crime trends and we take action to address increases when we have actionable information.”
He also attributes the drop in crime to the ability to analyze and review crime statistics. By looking at predictive patterns and trends, they can adjust their resources to accommodate.
“NPD analyzes crime trends on an ongoing basis monthly, weekly and sometimes daily. We don’t wait and look at them only at the end of the year.” Bleichner said.
Additionally, the community has helped greatly in reporting suspicious activity and crimes before they become a bigger issue. The Normal Police Department’s social media often shares crime prevention tips and information with the public.
According to Bleichner, the best way for the community to prevent crime is by securing their belongings and homes, as well as being aware of their surroundings.
“We would rather check on something when it’s first noticed to prevent a crime from occurring, rather than wait and find it after it’s already occurred. Crime prevention is a community issue that takes the entire community working together."