The rate of major crimes such as rape, murder, assault, theft, auto theft and arson dropped by 30 percent last year in Lansdale Borough, according to Lansdale Police Chief Robert McDyre.
McDyre relished in the good news during his report to borough council last week.
“While compiling this year’s year-end report, I found some very pleasing crime statistics,” he said. “First, I thought to myself, thinking the borough experienced a major reduction in part one serious crimes in the borough. After some more thought, I figured the best way to put it was that the borough produced a 30 percent decrease in serious crimes in 2010.”
“I was very happy with that,” said McDyre. “In one year.”
According to city-data.com, Part One crimes in Lansdale totaled 408 in 2009.
He said the best attribution to that decline is to the increase in manpower.
“Or, what I like to say, our boots on the street,” he said.
McDyre said additional attribution goes to several new initiatives engaged by the department in 2009, including “directing patrols which concentrate manpower in problem areas identified by statistics, along with a large drug offense that started in 2008 and continues to today,” he said. “Also, and lastly, by holding bar owners responsible for the impact they have on neighborhoods and the community.”
None of the decline, he said, would be possible without support from Mayor Andy Szekely, borough manager Timi Kirchner and council for having the foresight to invest in new officers.
“The most credit, I believe, should go to the officers, the boots on the street,” McDyre said. “They are out there day after day, night after night, confronting bad guys on the street. They risk their lives to confront them. They implement my goals, the borough’s goals, and they keep us all safe.”
Councilman Mike Riccio thanked everyone on council who has actually taken time to do ride-alongs with police.
“You get to understand what their job and role is. You get to understand different communities around us, their size, their population and the number of police they have,” he said. “We got a first-hand education that we had way too few police, and this is a direct result a.) of that and b.) Chief, with the way you are handling the department, thank you very much.”
Councilman Mike Sobel also expressed his appreciation.
“It is an interesting view from the front seat of a police car. It is an educational experience,” he said.
Council President Matt West said the understanding of the borough police force goes beyond council.
“As one who has done multiple ride-alongs, it is open to any resident. You have that ability,” West said. “I encourage you all to get out there—not all at once, we would have to get a police bus, and that’s not in the budget this year. Seriously, the option is there to get out and experience it yourself. It is an eye-opening experience.”
Sobel said the police are out there for us.
“They are looking out for us all the time, and they should be appreciated and helped and thanked,” he said.
Kirchner said the police are another great investment in the borough.
“Our public safety in this borough yields very good results,” she said.