NEWS HEADLINES

Report: Crime rate higher in 2011

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crime in Bridgeport was up last year compared with 2011 – but it was still below the 2010 level.

That’s what the city council heard during the police department’s annual report at its regular meeting Tuesday.

In all, there were 167 crime incidents reported in 2012, up from 139 in 2011 but less than the 2010 total of 209. Last year’s numbers include:

  • 83 larceny/theft reported – up from 69 in 2011 but less than the 107 in 2010;
  • 59 assault – up one from 2011 but less than the 63 in 2010;
  • 19 burglaries – up from 11 in 2011 but less than 34 in 2010;
  • four forcible rapes – up from zero in 2011 and 2010; and
  • two motor-vehicle thefts – up one from 2011 but less than the four in 2010.

For the third-straight year, there were no murder or manslaughter/negligence incidents, and for the second year in a row, no burglary reports (there were two in 2010).

Arrests were down to 384 from the 525 in 2011, as well as calls for service – 46,979 in 2012 from 49,407 in 2011. There were also less citations written last year than the 8,193 issued in 2011. The 2012 total of 6,955 includes 1,937 citations and 5,018 warnings (down from 2,373 and 5,820, respectively, in 2011).

Motor vehicle accidents increased from last year’s 56 to 77 in 2012. About half occurred on U.S. 380.

Code enforcement worked 413 cases including 184 tall grass and weeds; 144 junk and debris; 47 junk vehicles, 30 parking violations and eight substandard structures. Areas of significant clean-up include the tire farm at Farm Road 2123 at Texas 114; the 100 block of Lake Road; the lot at Halsell and 20th streets; and a demolished house that had caught fire at 1202 Stevens Street.

The police department also requested, and was granted, authorization to apply for a grant through the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor to purchase 11 in-car, digital video recording systems for each patrol unit. The updated equipment would replace antiquated, inconsistent VHS systems that yield poor-quality recordings and are cumbersome to store.

The $50,000 grant is reimbursable and does not require a match from the city but, if granted, would warrant an annual fee of $4,500 for hardware and software upgrades and maintenance.

IN OTHER NEWS

  • The council granted to Catalina Parra, owner of La Campechanita Taco Stand, a special exception allowing the mobile food unit to permanently park at its current location, 2008 Chico Highway, as long as the unit is in operation by Parra’s ownership and has no structural changes.
  • During the workshop portion of the meeting, councilmembers discussed the construction of a dog park at Payne Park, establishing a city recreation center and implementing a recycling program.
  • As routine business, the minutes of the Feb. 5 meeting were approved and the payment report for Feb. 7 through Feb. 20 in the amount of $665,245.81 reviewed.

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