LaPorte County crimes decline in 2013

2014-04-01T18:08:00Z 2014-04-01T23:28:08Z LaPorte County crimes decline in 2013Stan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 01, 2014 6:08 pm  • 

Police in LaPorte County cite cooperation between agencies as the reason crime rates were down in 2013.

In Michigan City, for example, there's been a 20 percent reduction in crime from three years ago.

The number of calls for service in 2013 at Michigan City also dropped from just over 51,000 in 2012 to slightly less than 50,000 last year.

There were three homicides in the city in both 2013 and 2012.

But, the number of robberies from year to year fell from 57 to 47 while assaults dropped from 579 to 506 and burglaries went from 325 to 222, police said.

Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek said his department and others working hand-in-hand to solve crimes quickly before the offenders have a chance to commit additional crimes is a major factor.

"We've had very strong law enforcement," said Swistek.

The LaPorte County Sheriff's Department reports a 10 percent reduction in crime between 2012 and 2013.

Among the biggest declines were robberies going from eight to three and burglaries falling from 281 to 233 during that time.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jim Sosinski said the quick apprehension of a suspect in February robbery at Dunes Inn just outside Michigan City is just one example of the positive results by law enforcement working across jurisdictional boundaries.

"During the course of that investigation we found these individuals who were arrested were planning other robberies," said Sosinski.

Crime in the city of LaPorte dropped 19 percent.

Major gains were in areas like burglary, which fell from 253 to 206; thefts from 869 to 717 and the number of stolen vehicles dropping from 98 to 55.

Police Chief Adam Klimczak in his annual report cited officers having more up close interaction with residents is a major reason for the drop.

Community policing contacts were up to 6,056 from 3,558 in the previous year from outreach programs like Coffee With a Cop where citizens can discuss their concerns with an officer and a virtual ride along patrol on Facebook where a policeman constantly gives updates on his whereabouts in the city.

Drugs, especially heroin, remain a major problem, but Sosinski said the number of heroin cases are up by 40 percent countywide from the year before.

"We are out there hitting the streets seeking out those who peddle this poison on the street," said Sosinski.

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