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Published: Saturday, 8/3/2013

Violent crime in Toledo drops from ’12 figures

Police say directed patrolling responsible for improvement


Violent crime this year is trending down, police said, a contrast to an overall increase in violent crime in 2012 from the year prior, according to data released recently by the FBI's preliminary annual Uniform Crime Report.

This year to date there have been five fewer homicides, 35 fewer shootings, and 105 fewer robberies than in 2012, Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said.

Data submitted by Toledo police show violent crime incidents increased to 3,352 in 2012 from 2,868 the year prior. The driver appears to have been aggravated assaults, which increased to 2,015 from 1,562.

Violent crime also increased in the following categories: murder (39 from 30) and forcible rape (172 from 124). Robberies decreased slightly to 1,126 from 1,152.

The violence that spiked midway through 2011 carried on through the first five or six months of 2012 and then started to, and continues, to slow, Sergeant Heffernan said.

“We put some things in place once we started to notice the surge in shootings and indicators of violent crime happening,” he said. “We increased the crime suppression unit and gang unit, we were starting to get full speed into the data-driven policing and do more strategic and directed patrolling.

“I think some of the benefits of that were starting to be felt again in the second half of 2012.”

While violent crime increased, burglaries dropped significantly from 8,366 to 6,279. Also down were motor vehicle thefts, to 1,334 from 1,4565.

The report does not list overall property crime or thefts. Police have said there is not enough manpower to accumulate that information.

“I think the thing that helped the most with the burglaries was just our approach and strategy to solving and preventing the crimes,” Sergeant Heffernan said.

The sergeant also pointed to more officers on the streets and better information sharing between patrol units and detectives.

Up slightly in 2012 were reported arsons, from 509 in 2011 to 529 in 2012.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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