Crime declines overall in Park in 2015

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 11, 2016

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PARK — The last year under retired Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Chief David Hiller’s watch was a relatively quiet one.

New Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni, who took over in January, delivered the results from 2015 during an April 11 City Council meeting.

“It was a really good report,” he said. “Overall crime decreased in excess of 12 percent … (and) the most serious crime … went down 10 percent.”

Index crimes, classified as the more serious offenses, fell from 293 in 2014 to 265 in 2015. There were 266 total index crimes in 2013 and 290 in 2012, according to the report.

Non-index crimes, considered less serious offenses, declined as well, from 154 reports in 2014 to 128 in 2015. 2015’s numbers are down from prior years as well. There were 149 non-index crimes in 2013 and 164 in 2012.

After a spike in 2014, larcenies — the most common of the index crimes — fell slightly, to 201 in 2015, compared to 208 in 2014. There were 171 larcenies in 2013 and 186 in 2012.

Also after a spike in 2014, armed robberies dropped to three in 2015; there were 10 in 2014, none in 2013 and two in 2012.

Last year saw a slight rise in burglaries and home invasions — from 27 in 2014 to 29 in 2015 — as well as felonious assault — from two in 2014 to five in 2015.

Forcible sexual offenses increased from one in 2014 to four in 2015.

There was a single arson and no murders or unarmed robberies last year.

Last year, there were 22 reports of vehicle thefts in the Park. That’s down significantly from previous years. There were 45 vehicle thefts in 2014, 56 in 2013, 42 in 2012 and 41 in 2011.

City Councilman James Robson, a retired police officer, had particular praise for the Arrest Car Thieves in Our Neighborhoods task force, better known as ACTION. The team includes officers from the Park, Detroit and Harper Woods, and has been in existence for about nine years now. Robson said ACTION has been “very successful” and “may be one of the best” auto theft task forces in the state.

City Councilman Daniel Grano congratulated Poloni on the report.

“It’s great news for us,” Grano said of the overall crime decrease. “You’re going to have your work cut out for you to keep those numbers down.”

Other officials agreed. Calling this an “excellent report,” Mayor Robert Denner said the positive statistics were due to the “professionalism of the Public Safety Department” and were an “indication of the overall health of the community.”

In addition, said Denner, “I think it speaks to the vigilance of our residents.”

Officials have long encouraged residents who see unusual activity in their neighborhoods to report it to police.

“Thank you to the entire department,” City Councilwoman Laurie Arora said. “We have a beautiful city with many amenities, but if people don’t feel safe,” they won’t dine in or visit the Park.

The 2015 report is a reflection of the department under Hiller, who hung up his badge as of Jan. 3, 2016, after 44 years with the Park, the last 14 of which he served as chief.

Poloni acknowledged his predecessor’s legacy, noting that Hiller was respected locally and throughout the state.

“Dave served with distinction and honor,” he said.

At press time, the annual report wasn’t available on the city’s website, but it was slated to be uploaded to the site. To see the full report when it becomes available online, visit www.grossepointepark.org.

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