Clark County sees decrease in crime reports

Crime reports to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office have decreased by about a third since 2012.

More deputies in local townships, new technology and additional training are reasons for the lower numbers, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said Thursday.

The total number of crime reports in 2014 was nearly 5,000, data from the sheriff’s department show. In 2015, the number decreased by almost 1,000.

“We’re very proud of that,” Kelly said. “It’s taken a lot of work and community involvement.”

The data does not include crimes handled by the Springfield Police Division.

Most townships and municipalities in Clark County have seen declines in thefts, burglaries and stolen vehicles, Kelly said.

But Clark County hasn’t seen decreases in all crimes.

“What we are seeing across the board is an increase in drug offenses and felonious assaults,” Kelly said. “And I think the two go hand in hand.”

The department has two full-time counselors in the Clark County Jail to help with drug abuse and continues its DARE program, he said.

“We gotta continue to target those areas with enforcement, education and treatment,” he said.

Communities have become more involved with crime watches, Kelly said.

One township that’s seen big decreases in reports is Moorefield Twp.

The township passed a levy in 2014 to hire two full-time deputies.

“It definitely has paid off,” Moorefield Township Trustee Jack McKee said. “When you look at the crime stats in 2015, they’re reduced. And that’s what we’re looking for.”

Residents also look out for each other more, McKee said. Crime watches have been set up.

“Nobody knows their community or area better than the neighbors,” he said. “We get calls very quickly.”

He feels safer with the full-time deputies, he said.

“I’ve always felt safe in Moorefield Township, but now there’s an added sense of security with the deputies right here,” he said.

One community that hasn’t followed the trend of most is New Carlisle. The total number of reports increased from 2014 to 2015.

The Sheriff’s Office is putting extra effort into bringing those numbers down, Kelly said.

Crime watches are being instituted as well as active community policing, he said.

The city has two deputies but recently passed a levy that will bring two more to the area.

“It’s going in the right direction,” Kelly said.

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