By BARBARA FULENWIDER (Shource: Fort Bend Indepentent Newspaper)
(Note: The Drone Professor conducted two days of UAS Operations Training in Missouri City in October of 2018)
Missouri City Police Department is one of the top agencies in the State when it comes to earning a “Re-Recognized Accreditation Status” and fewer than 40 police organizations in the State have been recognized like the MCPD, Police Chief Mike Berezin told the city council.
Texas Police Chiefs Association has given The Texas Recognized Agency designation to Missouri City three times and the police department has a crime clearance rate of 28% compared to the state’s 17% average, Berezin said.
The Texas Best Practices Recognition Program has become the new Gold Standard for Texas Law Enforcement. The “Recognized” status is awarded for a four year period.
Missouri City was also recently ranked in the top 50 safest cities in Texas; there were more than 8,000 code enforcement inspections made, and the chief implemented the Open Data Initiative, the first to do so in the Houston area.
Berezin explained how Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) help keep citizens safe. He explained DDACTS and how it integrates location-based crime and traffic data to establish effective and efficient methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources.
It also uses geo-mapping to identify areas that have high incidences of crime and crashes and DDACTS uses traffic enforcement strategies that play a dual role in fighting crime and reducing crashes and traffic. Drawing on the deterrent of highly visible traffic enforcement and the knowledge that crime often involves the use of motor vehicles, the goal of DDACTS is to reduce the incidence of crime, crashes, and traffic violations across the country. The software relies on prompt collection and analysis of crash and crime data to provide actionable reports that inform tactical and strategic decisions of a law enforcement agency.
Council was able to see the drones first-hand and to learn about the value they bring to policing.The chief told council that his department continued tracking Part I crimes and crashes citywide, but also expanded reports to include both categories in the identified DDACTS zone.
The results from 2016-2017 were no change in Part I crimes during the first year when there was an 8.75% reduction in crashes and 56,149 contacts were made.
In 2017-2018 the DDACTS results was a 37% reduction in Part I crimes, a 2.5% reduction in crashes and Berezin said his department made 84,967 contacts.
Then he went on to UCR Part 1, violent crimes per 100,000 population. Violent crimes are murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Murders in Missouri City went from 2 in 2017 to 3 more in 2018 for a 150% increase. Rapes increased by one – from 21 in 2017 to 22 in 2018 for a 5% increase. Robberies totaled 43 in 2017 and decreased to 27 for 16 fewer or -37% last year. Aggravated assaults were 76 in 2017 and 47 in 2018 for a decrease of 29 or -38%.
The total number of violent crimes in Missouri City in 2017 were 142 compared to 101 in 2018 for a drop of -41 or -29%.
The five-year average of violent crimes from 2013 to 2017 went from 2 murders to a low of zero to a high of 4 and then 5 in 2018. Rapes were 23 for the five-year average which was a low of 21 to a high of 25 and 22 in 2018. Robberies averaged out at 44 over the five years from a low of 34 to a high of 56 while 27 was the number in Missouri City in 2018. Aggravated assaults averaged 60 from 2013 to 2017 with the low of 23 and the high at 76. Missouri City’s aggravated assaults in 2018 were 47.
Property crimes are burglaries, larceny and motor vehicle thefts. From 2017 to 2018 burglaries dropped from 129 to 97 or 32 fewer.
Larcenies went from 766 in 2017 to 670 in 2018 for a difference of 96 cases or -13% less. Motor vehicle thefts totaled 964 in 2017 and were 811 in 2018 for 153 fewer.
Totals for all three crimes in 2017 amounted to 964 and decreased to 811 in 2018 for a difference of 153 cases.
Property crime totals in each of Missouri City’s four districts totalled 25,256 in A, 18,984 in B, 33,630 in C and 28,320 in D.
Property crimes in District A start with 22,142 “other” calls to police. All other calls numbered 680 on residential alarms; 471 for traffic violations; 436 for commercial alarms; 392 for minor accidents; 173 on thefts; 141 for major accidents; 100 burglaries of motor vehicle; and 100 for criminal mischief.
District B’s property crime statistics came in at a total of 16,350 “others” while 919 were for residential alarms; 331 for traffic; 282 minor accidents; 170 commercial alarm calls; 149 assaults; 132 thefts; 126 criminal mischief calls; 105 burglaries of motor vehicles (BMV), and 93 forgeries.
District C’s property crimes also began with “others,” which totaled 14,723. The other property crimes were 689 for residential alarm calls; 589 for minor accidents; 561 commercial alarm calls; 256 on traffic; 299 for disturbances; 277 theft; 119 forgeries, and 110 major accidents.
District D’s “others” totaled 16,750. Police got 1,060 calls on residential alarms; 483 for traffic violations; 473 minor accidents; 372 commercial alarms; 313 disturbances; 169 thefts; 143 major accidents; 128 criminal mischief calls, and 127 forgeries.
In 2018 the code enforcement division of the police department conducted 14,545 code actions that included initial inspections, follow-up inspections and signs removed. In 2018 there were 4,799 new code cases opened, 4,481 acknowledged and 3,460 cases closed. There were 1,787 violations in District A; 1,234 in District B; 931 in C, and 845 in D.
The top 5 violations in District A were trash screening, vegetation, junked/abandoned vehicles, weather protection/paint, and dilapidated fencing. District B’s top 5 were the same with the exception of exterior structure-mildew. District C’s problems were the same 3 top ones plus trees and garbage and District D’s were the same as C’s.