After violent crime increased in Warner Robins in 2015 and 2016, people in the International City have been worried about safety.
Earlier this week, concerned citizens held the so-called ‘Enough is Enough’ meeting to discuss ways to combat crime.
We went straight to the source to find out if crime was rising or falling.
Jacob Reynolds spoke to Warner Robins Police Chief Brett Evans and looked at the city's crime statistics for 2017.
The violent crime rate has fallen, according to WRPD crime numbers for 2017.
2016 Crime Numbers 2017 Crime Numbers
Homicide 6 6
Rape 31 34
Robbery 143 132
Aggravated Assault 314 214
For Police Chief Brett Evans, it was welcome news.
“It was definitely a sigh of relief, anytime the numbers go down for us, it's a sigh of relief,” Evans said.
Property crime also did not increase. In fact, it saw a very slight decrease of point six percent.
So, we verified violent crime in 2017 dropped more than 22 percent.
Overall, there was a three percent drop in total crime, including violent and non-violent offenses.
Evans says his officers' overtime and extra patrolling of high-crime areas helped.
“Not just in the enforcement and the arrests, but just the mere visibility. I firmly believe in visibility, I firmly believe in having the marked units out there and having them patrol in the streets,” Evans told WMAZ while looking over the numbers.
The Chief says they also arrested people connected to multiple crimes and it helped getting them off the streets.
Evans called the numbers encouraging, but says there is still work to be done.
“We had a very very poor start to the beginning of this year and so there was a lot of pressure, a lot of things going on, a lot of very sad cases,” Evans said, referencing the January homicides that claimed three lives.
Evans also said that even with the improvements, WRPD is still understaffed and the issue needs to be addressed.
But, he added his officers appreciated the moves Mayor Randy Toms and Council made last year to add five budgeted officer positions, and fix pay scale issues.
Police Chief Brett Evans, Warner Robins Police
2017 Warner Robins Crime Report