Montgomery crime stats hit 20 year low in 2012 - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Montgomery crime stats hit 20 year low in 2012

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A graph depicting crime reports in one area of Montgomery. A graph depicting crime reports in one area of Montgomery.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A successful year for the Montgomery Police Department as crime decreased more than 14% in 2012. It's the lowest the department has seen in 20 years.

But leaders say it could be lower.

"The green areas are precincts and districts that have shown a reduction in crime," says Police Chief, Kevin Murphy.

Maps like this are produced for the police department each day. They show where crime occurred so officers can pinpoint trends and know where to better position their resources.

"We compare last year to this year and the previous week to this week," adds Murphy.

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While the reports used to be paper only, they're now electronic, making crime fighting efforts faster, too. 

"We sped up the process, we've saved money by not having to print so much, we've become a lot more efficient."

Just having data at their fingertips is one tool helping the police department attack crime hot spots--like neighborhoods where burglars might be targeting multiple homes.

 "We're here. We want to be even lower," says Murphy.

How does that happen?  Murphy says even the best officers can't do it alone and need your eyes and ears.

"Are we talking to our citizens, our neighbors?"

One area of crime that did see an increase last year is domestic violence.

Leaders say that's because the law now allows officers to arrest for offenses like suffocation, and interfering with a 911 emergency call.

Also, the new One Place Family Justice Center for victims of domestic violence could be prompting more people to come forward.

Police say the best way to fight crime in your neighborhood is be a part of a community watch group. If your neighborhood doesn't have one, call the police department to find out how to start one.

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