Maplewood Crime Trending Down, Says Chief

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The trends in public safety are looking good for Maplewood, according to Police Chief Robert J. Cimino.

Recently, Cimino shared the police department’s crime statistics for 2014 through September 30. He also shared the comparable numbers from 2013.

Overall, Part 1 crimes are down 12 percent.

Cimino reported that there were zero homicides and rapes reported in Maplewood in 2013 and 2014. (Supervisor Det. John Plesnik explained that the charges against CHS teacher Nicole Dufault “do not fit in the very narrow definitions of the Uniform Crime Reporting Part 1 crime categories.” Dufault has been charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.)

As of September 30:

  • There were 25 robberies in 2013 compared 27 as of the same date in 2014;
  • There were 3 aggravated assaults in 2013 compared to 8 as of the same date in 2014;
  • There were 65 burglaries in 2013 and 63 as of the same date in 2014;
  • There were 253 larceny crimes in 2013 and 209 as of the same date in 2014;
  • There were 41 motor vehicle thefts reported in 2013, compared to 31 as of the same date in 2014; and
  • There were two arsons in 2013 compared to one in 2014.

Overall, Part 1 crimes are down 12% from the first 9 months of 2013 to the first 9 months of 2014. Cimino also noted that simple assault, which is not a Part 1 crime, dropped from 93 in 2013 to 61 in 2014 (both numbers are through September 30).

The biggest drop in Part 1 crimes from 2013 has been the reduction of larcenies, down by 44.

The largest increase in Part 1 crimes from 2013 to 2014 was the number of aggravated assaults, which rose from 3 to 8.

Again, all numbers reflect crimes committed from January 1 through September 30 of the respective years.

Cimino noted that many common crimes in Maplewood, like theft from vehicle, run in cycles which the police monitor closely through crime mapping.

“We try to suppress all crime,” said Cimino, “but when we see in a concentration,” police are able to target patrols to those areas. In addition,  said Cimino, “We also have officers put out security forms. We use that as a reminder to take preventive steps.” Cimino said that officers give out about 100 security forms a month.

“When they see a situation on patrol, they issue that.” Cimino said that a situation could be anything from a garage door left open, to mail piling up on a step, to a bicycle left on a lawn.

In addition, said Cimino, police respond to crime trends by holding community meetings from time to time.

Cimino noted some recent successes, including two arrests related to burglaries in the Jacoby Street area and the arrest of a man in possession of a GPS.

He also recommended that those whose bikes go missing check in with the police because confiscated bikes are held at the station until the end of the year when they are given away to charity or auctioned off — after police run the serial numbers to try to determine ownership. Residents can also register their bikes with the police.

With crime mapping, Cimino noted that the police do weekly mapping “looking for these concentrations.” For every shift, officers are assigned to areas where incidents have been occurring.

“We use these techniques to suppress crime. Officers will be out in those areas. Shift commanders have that information, including updates, at the beginning of the shift.”

Cimino said that updates come from a variety of sources including bulletins from other local forces and state notifications.

“We look at these every day and every couple of days, depending on priority. We compile an intelligence document for officers.” Cimino said that shift commanders also read through current updates and bulletins at the line up at the beginning of each shift and that information is available to officer on monitors in the line-up room and in computers in the police cruisers as well.

Cimino reported that the Maplewood Police Department now has 62 officers with four of those officers currently in the police academy and scheduled to graduate next spring.

Find safety tips from the Maplewood Police Department here. Visit the MPD’s homepage here. Maplewood Police Department, 1618 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood, New Jersey 07040. Dial 9-1-1 For Emergencies. Main Number 973.762.3400.

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