East Chicago crimes down overall in 2013 despite slight increase in violent crime
BY TERESA AUCH SCHULTZ email@example.com January 20, 2014 12:22PM
East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker, shown at a November 2013 news conference, credits improved police work for a drop in crime in his city. | Post-Tribune File Photo
Updated: February 23, 2014 6:10AM
Total crimes in East Chicago dropped from 2012 to 2013, but violent crimes did see a slight increase.
According to a release from East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker, the city saw 1,957 reported crimes in 2013, a drop of 6 percentage points from the year before. Of those reported, 226 were violent crimes, four more than were reported in 2012.
The city had 11 murders and 15 rapes in 2013, with 113 robberies and 87 aggravated assaults.
The release said total crimes reported were the lowest in East Chicago since 1995, the earliest that records are available.
The drop continues a decrease in overall crime the city has seen since 2011, when it marked 2,196 total crimes reported. That amounts to a drop of about 11 percentage points since 2011.
Becker said he thinks part of the drop can be attributed to an increased police presence in the city, including 185 percent more traffic stops in 2013 than in 2012. He also cited the city’s STOP Team, which eventually partnered with other law enforcement agencies to form the Region STOP Team. The team made 239 arrests and has collected $31,000 in forfeitures since its inception in April.
“Clearly an increased police presence — well, we hoped it would have an impact on crime, and it did,” Becker said.
The chief said he was not overly concerned about the increase in violent crime because it was a small increase.
Looking ahead, Becker said the police department will continue to look for innovative ways to fight the city’s crime.
“We can’t stop it, but we can deter it, make it more difficult,” he said.