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State of Public Safety address explains crime numbers, future plans

Bloomington’s public safety officials gathered Wednesday at the Bloomington Police Department to give the city’s third annual State of Public Safety address. They looked back on their progress last year and looked forward to this year's goals. 

Five takeaways from the address

  1. The Lenco BearCat G2, an armored police vehicle that sparked controversy last year, has been used three times since it arrived in Bloomington. Two times were for county calls involving barricaded subjects, and one was in the city for a potential hostage situation.
  2. BPD plans to build a new substation near Switchyard Park. A substation works as another police station for citizens to go to get police services. 
  3. BPD is planning on instating a Law Enforcement Diversion Program. With pre-arrest diversion, people might be issued a citation or go through a program instead of being put in jail for low misdemeanor offenses, BPD Chief of Police Michael Diekhoff said. This will help jail overcrowding and stop people from getting into the criminal justice system. 
  4. The Bloomington Fire Department purchased a $1.3 million fire truck and will be receiving it in March. 
  5. Here are some numbers the police and fire departments collected in 2018: 
  • Uniform Crime Reporting Part I crimes — which include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, car theft, theft and arson — decreased by 9.4 percent. 
  • Robbery cases were up 29 percent, and 51 percent of those were people who knew each other. 
  • Rapes decreased by 39 percent from 2017. BPD Diekhoff said he doesn’t think the 2018 number accounts for all the rapes that actually happened. He said he thinks fewer were reported in 2018 versus 2017 because of the national attention on empowerment and reporting that happened in 2017.  
  • Drug overdose calls decreased by 24 percent.  
  • Parking operations wrote 31,770 citations, which is a 14 percent increase from 2017. 
  • Between 2016-2018 the average number of fires per year was 310, which is a 12.5 percent decrease from 2012-2015 averages.
  • There were 1,152 false fire alarms, meaning there was no fire. There were 170 more than last year. 

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