SCHERERVILLE | Schererville had a 16 percent decrease in major crimes reported in 2013, Police Chief David Dowling said.
Schererville provides statistics to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program, which collects data from seven major crime categories — homicide, forcible rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny/theft and motor vehicle theft, Dowling said.
There were 1,009 major crimes reported in Schererville in 2012. That number dropped to 847 in 2013, Dowling.
"That's a very significant drop," he said.
He said the number of reported major crimes in Schererville often fluctuates from year to year, but he has "never seen it decrease by that amount."
Dowling said there are several factors that have contributed to the decrease in crime in town.
Among them is increased traffic enforcement.
Dowling said the department switched to 12-hour shifts last year to "increase the manpower on the road."
About 2,300 traffic citations were issued in 2012. There were about 5,800 citations issued in 2013.
The presence of officers actively enforcing traffic violations helps deter criminal activity, Dowling said.
The Police Department's special operations task force also continues to be successful, he said.
The primary focus of the task force is on narcotics use in Schererville, and there has been "a dramatic decrease" in reported overdoses in Schererville since the task force was formed, Dowling said.
In 2013, the task force filed charges in 88 drug-related cases, he said.
Last year, the task force also assisted officers during situations when there were a rash of thefts or burglaries reported in the town, Dowling said.