Catasauqua cited for drop in crime
Accolades seem to keep coming for the Borough of Catasauqua.
First, the borough has received much praise for a successful kickoff for the development of the Iron Works property. Next, some favorable mentions have been made about borough police officers aiding bewildered motorists.
And now, Safe Choice Security has classed Catasauqua as one of the most improved municipalities in the state.
"We look at crime statistics as part of our marketing effort," said Kim Andrews, a media liaison with the company. "We recently started to report the data we compiled to support the municipalities that are making their towns safer."
Catasauqua has been rated as one of the top 20 municipalities in reducing crime.
Safe Choice Security sells wireless security and home automation systems that can be controlled from a smartphone.
Mayor Barbara Schlegel and Police Chief Douglas Kish were elated with the news.
"A lot of the effort is from the citizens who report problems," said Kish. "We try to encourage them to call in problems so we have the data on file."
It might seem counter-intuitive to increase the number of crimes reported. Catasauqua's crime rate fell from 32 in 2007 to 18.74 in 2012. The crime rate is based on the number of instances per 100,000 population. According to the FBI website, the crime rate is adjusted based on population. The standard formula is number of crimes divided by population, multiplied by 100,000.
According to Kish, adjustments are made for solved crimes.
Kish emphasized the need to report even small crimes. He related a story where local officers recovered a GPS system from a thief.
"We checked the home location. The owner knew it was taken, but had not reported the incident," he said. "Having the information allows us to better put together patterns and target areas where something like this is going on."
Schlegel added her comments on the good report.
"We encourage officers to be involved in the community," she said. "I receive a lot of compliments about the assistance officers provide. We aren't out there trying to increase revenues with a bunch of tickets. We strive to make sure that every officer understands their role in maintaining a safe community."
Kish also commented on things he has heard about officers.
"We get people who sometimes mention that an officer was just sitting in his car," he said. "Some of the officers prefer to fill out their reports in the vehicle. Just having a vehicle parked on the side of the road is often a helpful deterrent."
Crime statistics are a public record and can be viewed by anyone. What Safe Choice Security did was compile the raw numbers into useful data.
"We look at the trend of the numbers in the borough and the surrounding municipalities," Kish said. "It helps us evaluate our efforts when we see the numbers from across the state."