Arlington Heights says crime rate historically low
The amount of crime in Arlington Heights reached historically low levels in 2013, police say.
According to the 2013 Uniform Crime Report, a compilation of crime statistics provided by the village to the FBI, Arlington Heights' crime rate dropped 17 percent from 2012 to last year, and has fallen 45 percent over the past decade.
Almost 95 percent of all reported offenses last year were property crimes, such as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson, police said.
Violent crimes -- including criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery and robbery -- made up the rest. There were no murders in Arlington Heights in 2013, seven criminal sexual assaults and seven robberies.
There were 40 instances of other sex offenses in 2013 compared to 23 the previous year, but the village saw a large decrease in all offenses involving children, from 166 in 2012 to 63 in 2013.
Overall, the crime rate in Arlington Heights was 1,132 offenses per 100,000 residents. The national average for municipalities with populations ranging from 50,000 to 99,000 was 3,421 per 100,000 residents.
Police Chief Gerald Mourning attributed the crime rate decline to the department's successful anticipation of the community's needs and its ability to respond to those needs
"The Arlington Heights Police Department has strong community support from both residents and businesses. We believe in embracing our community as our partner in crime prevention," Mourning said in a department news release.
Programs that have helped include Crime Stoppers, the citizen alert system, information on the public access channel and village website, and the department's crime prevention unit.
"We can't be out there all the time, so we need to work together," police Capt. Nick Pecora said. "That includes the community seeing something suspicious and calling us or a property owner preventing a crime of opportunity."
To help the village continue the positive trend, Pecora said the department is in the middle of a large hiring process that will bring on four new patrol officers this year. The new officers will replace officers who have retired or recently were promoted and will bring the Arlington Heights force to 109 officers, he added.
The village also held a police test on Saturday. More than 250 candidates passed and will be added to a hiring eligibility pool that will be good for the next two years.