The Thomasville Police Department has released the 2019 crimes stats and total crime is down 13% for the year. The downward turn in total crime continues an overall reduction in crime that has continued since 2015. According to Chief Rich, the crime statistics that are reported actually track two different categories of crime.
“There are two type of crimes reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for statistical purposes, which are known as Part 1 crimes, or violent crimes and property crimes,” said Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich. “Violent crimes are defined as homicide, rape and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, entering an automobile, larcenies, stolen vehicles, arson and robbery.” The crimes reported to the FBI are used in national calculations of crime rates per population.
Property crime in Thomasville was down by 13.96%, or 121 incidents. “The biggest drops in the property crimes area were for burglaries and larceny from autos,” said Chief Rich. Burglaries dropped by 40%, while larcenies from vehicles also were down by 36%.
“We attribute the property crime reduction to the proactive patrols that have been performed by our police officers,” said Chief Rich. “In addition to these patrols, residents have assisted TPD by doing an outstanding job securing their property and reporting suspicious activities. We cannot solve crime unless the community and police work together, and this reduction demonstrates that together, we can make a difference.”
The crime rate for violent crime for Thomasville is 1.57 incidents per 1,000 people. The national crime rate for violent crimes is 3.7 incidents per 1,000 people. “While our overall violent crime rate is below average, Thomasville saw a slight uptick in violent crimes for 2019, mainly due to an increase in aggravated assaults,” said Chief Rich. “Aggravated assaults are classified as ‘person on person’ assaults, which includes domestic violence charges.” Chief Rich said that Thomasville experienced 27 aggravated assaults in 2019, which included seven domestic violence incidents. “To compare, we experienced 18 aggravated assaults in 2018,” he said.
2019’s aggravated assaults included nine incidents that resulted in the use of a firearm that was discharged. Of these nine, seven shots struck property and two struck another person. Eight of these nine assaults with a firearm resulted in an arrest and charges filed.
Homicides were down 50% in 2019 as compared to 2018. “There were two homicides reported this year,” said Chief Rich. “These incidents involved street gang activity and domestic issues.” Rape crimes were reported at one incident for both 2019 and 2018.
Chief Rich said that while some violent crimes increased for 2019, the key to resolving these issues is through changing behavior. “We need people to stop responding or acting from a place of high emotion in order to resolve conflict, especially those involving domestic incidents,” said Chief Rich. “Unfortunately, we have some individuals who choose to use firearms as a means of conflict resolution, which is not a wise decision. If a firearm is used to commit a crime, TPD will arrested the offender and he or she will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The City of Thomasville saw its largest dip in total crime since 2015, when crime was down 16%. Chief Rich said it takes a community effort to continue the downward turn and is driven to see what the 2020 year can bring. “Crime does not drop because of better policing alone,” said Chief Rich. “We have great officers that value their service to the community and citizens that work together with us to make a difference. It takes a total community commitment.”
Previous year’s crime stats:
2018 – down 12%
2017 – down 3%
2016 – down 5%
2015 – down 16%