FPD provides mid-year crime stats | 21 burglaries, 18 drug offenses reported

Published 11:21 am Friday, July 27, 2012

The Franklinton Police Department has released its crime statistics for the time period of Jan. 1 to July 17, and Capt. Justin Brown reports there are no significant changes in the numbers from this time last year.

The FPD has not had any homicides in its jurisdiction for the January to July time period, something Brown hopes will continue for the rest of the year. Two forcible rapes were reported to the FPD during that time, and both cases were concluded to be unfounded or false, he said.

Additionally, one robbery with a firearm and 14 instances of assault (battery) have been reported to the FPD so far this year. Four of the assault offenses have been cleared by arrest, either because the officer made an arrest on the scene or issued a warrant.

In the category of burglary, 21 cases have been reported to the FPD between Jan. 1 and July 17. They break down as follows: forcible entry, 12 (one cleared by arrest); unlawful entry with no force, six (one cleared by arrest); and attempted break-in, three. Reports on these types of crimes can be generated either when a complainant makes a report to the police department or when an officer generates a report, Brown said. An example of the latter would be an officer noticing that an abandoned building has apparently been broken into and filing a report, he said.

Other offenses reported between Jan. 1 and July 17 include motor vehicle theft, two; forgery and counterfeiting, two; fraud, five; vandalism, eight; weapons, five (all cleared by arrest); drunkenness, one (cleared by arrest); and disorderly conduct, five (four cleared by arrest). Eighteen drug offenses were reported, all of which were cleared by arrest. Those break down into the following categories: sale of opium-cocaine, one; sale of marijuana, one; sale, other, one; possession of opium-cocaine, four; possession of marijuana, 10; and possession of synthetic drugs, one.

While the crime rate is generally steady throughout the year, a small increase can be seen between the winter and summer months, Brown said. That is a nationwide trend, he said, and the slight rise in crime could be attributed to the fact that juveniles are out of school and juvenile-related cases, including such offenses as battery and theft, tend to increase, he said.

“The numbers pretty much remain the same,” he said. “We really don’t have spikes in crime. It’s just a slight rise during the summer months, and you’ll find that consistent with the sheriff’s office and Bogalusa PD and, of course, other agencies around the country.”

Brown said he thinks Franklinton is a safer place to live today than it was a year ago, and community input is an important part of that.

“We’ve made changes and we’re constantly making changes to update our equipment and update our enforcement efforts,” he said. “We take a look constantly and talk to people and find out what they’re experiencing problems with and to tailor our enforcement efforts to the needs of the community.”

There are several different areas affecting Franklinton from a police perspective, with the first being drug offenses, Brown said.

“Drug violations are always going to be a problem, and we try to work closely with other agencies to be able to curtail that problem,” he said. “Like I said, we’re constantly updating our equipment to stay on the cutting edge of enforcement when it comes to narcotics, but it takes cooperation from the community as well.”

Another major area of crime affecting Franklinton, along with communities everywhere, is theft and burglary, Brown said. Public cooperation is also vital to solving those cases, he said.

“We can’t be everywhere all the time, so we depend heavily on information from the community to be able to weed out those individuals that are committing those crimes,” he said. “It definitely takes participation from the community as a whole.”

The FPD, which is “designed as a criminal patrol agency” but has specialized units focused on areas like narcotics, has also recognized the link between burglaries and drug offenses, Brown said.

“Typically when you have a burglary, it’s going to relate back to narcotics use in some way shape or form, so we try to focus on that a lot,” he said.

An additional issue is that a growing population has created more traffic, which can lead to more vehicle crashes, Brown said. One part of the solution there is that the FPD has taken a proactive approach to DWI enforcement, Brown said. People who might consider drinking and driving in Franklinton have discovered that the FPD takes catching those offenders seriously, he said.

“I believe that they know that Franklinton proactively enforces, so some people tend to steer clear of the city limits of Franklinton because they know if they come into town that they’re likely to be pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated,” he said. “That’s always an issue that we contend with, trying to make it safe for the motoring public.”