Evanston crime against persons down 21 percent in 2014

Julian Gerez, Reporter

Despite the overall crime rate remaining flat in 2014, crimes against persons in Evanston decreased by 20.8 percent compared to 2013, according to newly released police data.

Evanston police officers presented 2014 crime statistics to City Council on Monday night.

Homicides decreased from four to one in 2014, and aggravated battery cases decreased by about 15 percent. Robbery cases dropped by about 11 percent.

Evanston police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan said these crimes, which involved the harm or the threat of bodily harm to another person, are of particular importance to the department.

Dugan told The Daily standard practices, including deployment efforts, have been more focused and effective, which is demonstrated by the 8 percent decrease in deployment-related crimes including robbery, aggravated battery and burglary.

When it comes to gang violence, Dugan said the police department has partnered with Skokie Police Department and the Chicago Police Department in Rogers Park to work together and pass along information.

“We’re being proactive in our measures of dealing with (gangs),” he said.

Criminal sexual assault decreased from 10 reports in 2013 to three reports last year.

Dugan said honing and improving newer forms of regular law enforcement practices, such as Text-A-Tip and Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety, has played an important role in these decreases.

“DDACTS reduces traffic accidents as well as provides high visibility patrols in critical areas,” Dugan said.

In addition the department has taken less traditional steps that “all together add up.”

“We try to engage the community in different levels outside of law enforcement activities like Coffee With a Cop and mentoring programs for youth,” Dugan said.

Crimes against property, which make up more than 90 percent of incidents in Evanston in 2014, increased by about 3 percent, accounting for the overall less than 1 percent increase in crime.

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