The Lebanon Police Department released its annual report from 2013, which included several positives for residents.
According to Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen, there were several crime categories, including robbery, rape, kidnapping and assaults, which had double-digit decreases compared to the year prior.
Other highlights from the report included no employee grievances filed by employees in 2013, an increase in arrests but a decrease in use-of-force incidents and citizens’ surveys returned showed a rating of “excellent” or “good” 99 percent of the time.
“I feel this is something we can be very proud of, and it’s something we work real hard at,” Bowen said. “Obviously some categories and areas we feel we can have an affect on, like burglaries and robberies.”
Though regular aggravated assault numbers were down this year, Bowen said aggravated domestic assault incidents made assault numbers go up.
“Some crime categories are just tougher, like domestic assaults, which are really hard for us to control,” Bowen said.
Bowen said the more proactive the department is at policing, the better results they get.
“We also continue to expand our community policing efforts with the Citizen’s Police Academy, Youth Police Academy, VOICE Program and our Neighborhood Watch,” Bowen said.
Along with the community’s efforts, Bowen said the department’s partnership with Lebanon Public Housing also “continues to pay dividends.”
“We used to have 40 percent of our homicides and violent crimes occurring in public housing, and now we’re just not seeing that like we once did,” Bowen said. “Just the partnership we have even with the citizens over there now, the relationship is a lot better and we have people who will even call us with issues.”
An aspect Bowen said he was really proud of was the random surveying.
“Every month we send 30 random surveys out to people who have filed reports and we ask them to rate things like communication and officers and detectives,” Bowen said. “So in 86 percent of the responses we had a rating of ‘excellent’ and in 13 percent of the responses we had a rating of ‘good,’ which made up 99 percent as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in all responses we got.
We can, and should, feel just a little safer knowing crime is down in Lebanon. And it appears the public is behind the officers and the work they’re doing.
Keep up the good work.