COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The Mayor's office released its third quarter crime report for Columbus and in all, crime is down 13 percent compared to the same time in 2014.
Homicide is down 22 percent, aggravated assault is down 9 percent and burglary is down 23 percent. The report also shows that rape is up by 46 percent compared to last year's statistics, and robbery rose by 3 percent.
Recently, the Columbus Police Department partnered with numerous local and area law enforcement agencies to arrest 62 suspects, 39 of which were purported gang members.
"We had several burglary rings, many petty thefts and an increase in motor vehicle thefts last quarter that are the most we have seen for the third quarter of a year since 2009," Columbus Police Chief Rick Boren stated.
Chief Boren also says they are still on track to be below the year-end total for 2009.
"We have engaged the community to help us in reducing violent crimes since the rash of four murders in there days this summer. We just had over 60 days without a murder and we hope that the BTW murder will be our last for the year," Mayor Teresa Tomlinson stated.
Recent recruitment efforts have resulted in police on the streets as the city is now just 24 shy of its additional officers on the street.
"We are so appreciative of the Join the Force for Good recruitment campaign created by Image By Design and our police department," Mayor Tomlinson says.
Mayor Tomlinson says the partnership between neighborhood watch groups and police are helping prevent crime.
"They are calling us with information. They are watching out for one another. They are reporting and recording suspicious activity and all that leads to information that we use," said Tomlinson.
According to the Muscogee County coroner, there are 12 homicides on record for 2015 so far, compared to 19 from last year. Mayor Tomlinson explains the difference in numbers between the two agencies.
"We go by definition that are defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and certain things are considered murder. A broader category of things are considered homicides. The coroner keeps tracks of homicides and the police department keeps tracks of murders," said Tomlinson.
"Which concerns us on one hand but we do tend to get it's from the reporting. There's increased awareness,"
There are now 464 sworn police officers in the field and, Columbus police continues to increase those ranks as they face retirements and attribution every month, according to Mayor Tomlinson.
"Bottom line, we are looking for a better fourth quarter as it related to Part-1 Crimes," Chief Boren added.
The full third quarter statistics are below.