The City of Roxboro’s annual crime rate for 2022 was 53.65 per 1,000 residents, according to the Roxboro Police Department’s annual report released last week.
That rate is up from 43.11 crimes per 1,000 residents reported in 2021 – the city’s first crime rate increase since 2019.
The report attributes the rise primarily to larcenies, as the department saw an increase of about nine property crimes per 1,000 residents.
Violent crime was up about one per 1,000 residents, attributed to the five homicides reported in the city last year.
Police Chief David Hess highlighted the department’s deterrence of violent crime.
“I am very pleased with the dedication of our staff,” Hess wrote in the report. “Officers this year focused on deterring violent crime to improve quality of life for our community. Tragically, our community experienced five homicides. Because of our officers focused efforts to combat violent crime by using data-driven focused patrols and arrests of repeat felons released into the community on bond or probation, our overall crime rate remains at a historic low.”
Hess said the department seized 72 firearms last year.
The city’s crime rate recently peaked at 68.76 per 1,000 in 2015 and has fallen since.
In 2022, officers made 757 arrests with 12, or 1.5 percent, requiring use of force.
Officers’ use of force rate was down from 2021 when officers made 780 arrests with 15, or 1.9 percent, required force.
Department policy requires every use of force to be reviewed to determine if the officer followed policy and the possibility of alternate actions.
According to the annual report, as 12 incidents were reviewed and found to be lawful, compliant with policy and alternative actions were not policy.
Of the use of force arrests, six were reported to be white men, one white female, three Black males and two Black females.
For the 12 arrests, five utilized OC spray, or pepper spray, four used hands and other control techniques, two required a taser and one arrest required a baton.
Officers used force in 1.6 percent of the 757 total arrests.
Last year, the department had 18,165 total documented encounters with the public which accounts for all calls for service and traffic stops.
Compared to the total number of interactions, officers used force in 0.06 percent of all public interactions.
According to the report, each uniformed officer responded to an average of 825 calls last year.
The department’s average time from dispatch to clear was 46 minutes and 56 seconds.
That time has increased each year since 2020.
The department received three citizen complaints, up from two in 2021.
According to the report, all three complaints were found to be true, but the officers were in compliance with department policy or state law.
There were no complaints of misconduct or constitutional violations, the report says.
Department staff initiated one internal investigation of an officer for an allegation of detrimental personal conduct.
The officer was disciplined, the report says.
In 2022, officers made 3,181 traffic stops, 63 less than in 2021, and issued 1,434 citations, 52 more than in 2021.
Based on those numbers, officers issued citations in 45 percent of traffic stops last year, approximately 2.4 percent more than in 2021.
Each year, the department examines the racial demographics of the traffic data and compares it with the city’s demographics.
Based on that data, the department found no race was disproportionately stopped or cited.
Last year, officers engaged in six vehicle pursuits, 0.18 percent of all stops.
That number is down from 12 pursuits in 2021.
Department policy requires all vehicle pursuits to be reviewed by the officer’s immediate supervisor, division lieutenant, captain and police chief using the officer’s report and all available law enforcement video.
Last year, all six pursuits were authorized by department policy.
In the past four years, all 33 vehicle pursuits complied with department policy and accounted for less than one percent of all traffic stops.
According to the report, the department’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is seeing a “significant strain” managing increased case loads for its detectives.
In total, 304 cases were assigned last year, an increase of 85 from 2021, an average of 17 cases per detective.
“Each detective managed an annual case lead of 60 cases,” the report says. “This case load management makes it difficult to devote effective investigative hours per case to determine if charges can be obtained.”
Last year, the division’s clearance rate was 11.28 percent.
Last year saw the return of the department’s Citizen’s Police Academy and a unanimous accreditation recommendation from the North Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation board.
Other highlights were the officer-coached Northern Middle School football team’s second consecutive OPAC championship, a record donation amount for the annual Shop with a Cop Christmas event and the department sponsoring two local students to attend the inaugural North Carolina FBI National Academy Associates Youth Leadership Program in Raleigh.
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