The crime rate in the city of Allentown continued to fall in 2015.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Police Chief Keith Morris announced the decline this afternoon at a news conference in City Council Chambers called to release the Police Department’s 2015 Annual Report. It shows Uniform Crime Report Part I Offenses in 2015 fell just less than 16% from 2014 and Part II Offenses down more than 12%. Part I Offenses have declined from 7176 in 2006 to 3743 in 2015, or just about 48%.
“The numbers reflect that initiatives we have undertaken have substantially impacted the rate of crime in the city,” said Pawlowski. “Targeted enforcement, new training procedures, better tools and new technology are making the men and women of our department more effective and more impressive with every passing day.”
Morris said, “In 2015 the Allentown Police Department was still battling staffing shortages, as we were down 18 officers, but still experienced significant declines in crime. The decrease can be contributed to a number of factors, but I attribute it mostly to the hard work and dedication of our officers on the street. Further we partnered with key community stakeholders to address crime and quality of life issues, utilized technology as a force multiplier, and reengineered the focus of our crime analyst. Policing in the 21st century demands that we try to stay one step ahead of criminals in order to keep our community safe, so there was strong emphasis on predictive and intelligence-led policing.”
The report includes Part I and violent and property crime trends dating back to 2000. It breaks down Part 1 crimes in each of the four Police Service Areas (PSA’s) and shows a map of each area. Part I Crime is down significantly in each of the four PSA’s in the city.
The Communications Center fielded more than 210,000 telephone calls and dispatched for nearly 155,000 police, fire EMS, animal control and parking authority incidents.
The city has been rebuilding its police department since 54 officers were lost to retirement at the end of 2005. The city now has 220 officers. That is an increase of 13 from when the 2014 crime numbers were reported.
The city now has more than 170 cameras in its surveillance network and more are being added. Camera operators in the Allentown Communications Center regularly monitor and record activity in public areas and also monitor particular areas in response to emergency calls. City cameras generated 487 calls for service from monitoring of the network at the Center in 2015.
Copies of the 38 page report will be available on the city website.