Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams issued a press release on Monday, showing a dramatic 57% reduction in crime last year compared to the previous year.
Here is his release:
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to report significant decreases in the crime rate for the calendar year 2021. A review of our crime statistics reveals a 57% decrease in crime when compared to 2020 crime data and a 60% decrease when compared to 2017, my first year in office.
Our Part I offenses (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, etc) and Part II offenses (larceny, burglary, thefts, larceny/auto) are trending lower. We attribute these data to our focus on recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining the best-qualified deputies Burke County can afford. Our deputies are committed to faster response times, and once on scene, they thoroughly and timely investigate leads utilizing technological and scientific advances, which increases the likelihood of solving cases.
For example, social media, ring doorbell cameras, business cameras, neighborhood canvassing, pinging cell phones and community relationships and partnerships are deployed at the deputy level. Historically, many of these solvability factors were left to a follow-up investigator days after the incident. However, our deputies are taking the preliminary investigation much farther and it is paying off for us.
While we are aware that certain conditions and community factors play a role in crime data, the significance of a decrease this large must not be downplayed. “I am appreciative of the reverent respect afforded to us by the citizens of Burke County. Many times we are out-numbered and out-gunned and the bad guys play by a different set of rules. Nonetheless, our commitment to service combined with our zero tolerance for lawlessness has created an atmosphere that allows for these significant reductions in crime. Additionally, doing that which is right, just, fair and equitable, coupled with total transparency has fostered trust and respect between law enforcement and the people we serve. Realizing we cannot arrest our way out of crime, we are committed to concepts like restorative justice and community partnerships that offer alternatives to arrest and incarceration. However, we are resolute in our mission to put away those we are afraid of.”
Homicides in the county maintained areas remained at one (1), while Rape decreased by 100%, Robberies decreased by 88%, Aggravated Assaults decreased by 45%, Fraud decreased by 21%, Forgery decreased by 66%, Burglary decreased by 50%, Larceny (auto) decreased by 71%, Larceny (other) decreased by 35%, Vehicle thefts decreased 16% and Arson decreased by 83%.
Year over Year Crime Reduction Percentages show crime rates decreased as follows:
- 2020 vs 2021 57% decrease
- 2019 vs 2021 42% decrease
- 2018 vs 2021 48% decrease
- 2017 vs 2021 60% decrease
We are managing by the numbers and looking at crime data with week-to-week, and month-to-month comparisons to the previous year(s). Those predictions, along with socio-economic changes help us to predict crime patterns and make the necessary staffing adjustments to control crime and keep our communities safe. While the numbers are not always absolute, it is more reliable than being reactionary.
We are looking forward to 2022 with a focusing on employee advancement, lower crime rates, and community engagement.