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Oxford Sees Decline in Most Crimes in 2018

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

While the number of calls to the Oxford Police Department dropped in 2018 from the previous two years, officers are still writing about the same number of reports.

According to Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen, the decrease is not because crime has decreased but because OPD officers are not just sitting around and waiting for a call to come over their radio.

“We are still writing the same number of reports which shows our officers are being more active out in the community,” he told the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday while presenting the 2018 Year End OPD Report during the Board’s regular meeting.

In 2016, the department experienced a 19.62 percent increase in total call volume from the previous year; however, from 2016-2018 there was a decrease of 20.10 percent in total call volume from 2016 through 2018.

Officers responded to 46,104 calls in 2018, down from 51,151 in 2017. In 2018, the department 27,926 calls were officer-initiated calls compared to 18,178 calls initiated by citizens.

The highest number of calls officers responded where on Fridays in 2018, with 7,896 calls. Saturdays followed close behind with 7,409 calls.

Alderman John Morgan said it was interesting to see how busy officers were on during the usually “quieter” days of the week like Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Officers responded to 4,353 calls on Sundays, 6,435 on Mondays and 6,486 on Tuesdays.

“It was really surprising,” he said. “You’d think they’d be a lot less than they are (on those days).”

Officers investigated nine robberies, 20 rapes, 19 motor vehicle thefts, 620 larcenies, 86 burglaries, 298 assaults and one murder in 2018.

Noise and loud music-party complaints have dropped since 2017, from 636 reports to 583 as did alcohol-related arrests from 785 in 2017 to 609 in 2018. DUI arrests also dipped since last year, with 564 arrests in 2017 and 537 in 2018.

In 2017, officers arrested 600 people on narcotics charges which dropped to 528 in 2018.

The number of young adults, 18-21 being arrested on alcohol and drug charges also saw a decrease in 2018.

Officers responded to 2,100 wrecks on streets and highways inside the city limits, down slightly from 2017 with 2,137 wrecks.

The year-end report also breaks down arrests for gender, race and students, ages 18-21.

The complete report is available to view on the city’s website.

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