Newark crime trending down

BY
STAFF REPORTER

Academy Street
Kirk Smith/THE REVIEW
Crime in Newark has been consistently declining over the last six years.

During the past six years, the university has seen a decrease in crime on and off campus with new technology sources, programs and methods used by the University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD) and the Newark Police Department (NPD).

Between the years of 2010 to 2015, the UDPD has reported an overall 44.87 percent decrease in “Part 1” offenses, which includes aggravated assault, theft and robbery.

The UDPD has implemented new programs and technology sources that have allowed it to track crime more efficiently than before.
In 2010, the police department started with 35 video cameras in the field. Over the last five years, nearly 430 cameras have been accounted for, according to university police Chief Patrick Ogden and Captain Jason Pires. This advantage has allowed dispatchers to notify officers and prevent crimes Ogden said.

The UDPD has added another detective who focuses on crime analysis. This detective sees when, where and what time crime happens. This then allows police to deploy resources to a scene, Ogden said.

Unlike previous years, the UDPD has more officers in the field. Ogden said they have officers on bikes, on foot and ones in plain clothes.

Chief Ogden assures that adding these different officers will only help make the university community safer.

“The people who commit these robberies are looking for an easy target,” Ogden said.

The LiveSafe app has also helped, Ogden said. It allows students to submit tips anonymously and receive instant feedback from dispatchers. Since the app has been created, there has been more help from students reporting crimes, Ogden said.

The goal for the UDPD, Ogden said, is to not just arrest away problems.

“Our mission is to get out in front of the problem,” Ogden said.

The effort from the UDPD and the NPD has been able to decrease crime in the city of Newark. The NPD specifically has reported an overall 48 percent decrease in “Part 1” offenses since 2006.

Since Chief Paul M. Tiernan joined the NPD in 2007, many changes have been made to decrease crime.

The department has been focusing on its Street Crimes Unit and Fall Suppression plan, which places officers in spots with high criminal activity. This has helped with prevention, Tiernan said.

A grant helped the NPD with its Special Operations Unit. These officers only focus on quality of life issues, Tiernan said.
With robberies down and clearances up, this allows officers to have the upper hand on offenders.

“I think word goes out if you get caught in Newark, you have a good chance of getting picked up,” Tiernan said.

New surveillance cameras and license plate readers have allowed officers to solve crimes and follow up on previous crimes. Social media has also helped with sending alerts according to Lt. Bill Hargrove.

Both departments hope to connect with the public through things like the “Copline Bling” video and the “HugACop” event. UDPD has also added two new officers who will walk and talk with students to build a rapport with them.

Students have their own views. Sophomore Olivia Roclore said she felt students received more UD alerts last year. They are not as frequent now, she said.

Freshman Sarah Harlan said she has never felt threatened but does notice consistent UD alerts for a specific location.

“That’s the only thing I feel like I’ve been getting alerts about, is stuff happening on Cleveland Avenue,” Harlan said.

Senior Brad Wolak has noticed a decrease. He remembers freshman year, getting three alerts a week for Haines Street. Though Wolak sees alerts have decreased, current alerts have described more violent offenses.

“You can’t get it to zero,” Wolak said.

The UDPD plans to continue the use of their new programs and remain open to new methods.

“It’s extremely safe, but we try to figure out ways to make it safer,” Pires said.

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