City of Bartlesville

Posted: Jan 07, 2020 2:11 PMUpdated: Jan 07, 2020 2:26 PM

Crime Down 30-Percent in the City of Bartlesville

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Garrett Giles

Bartlesville Police Chief Tracy Roles has provided crime numbers for 2019 compared to the numbers from 2018.

The overall numbers suggest that there was just under a 31-percent reduction in crime in the City of Bartlesville. Chief Roles did admit that the first quarter of 2019 did make him nervous.

Violent crimes were up 40-percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018. The trend was not good, as Chief Roles recalled.

Things leveled out and calmed down. Chief Roles said he was happy to see a downward trend in the crime rate.

Even with the 30-percent decrease in overall crime, the City of Bartlesville is still up in its crime rate 10-percent compared to 2016. This does not still sit well with Chief Roles, but he has no doubt that the downward trend wil continue. He said that they will get where they, for the City of Bartlesville, should be.

Chief Roles said Bartlesville’s officers believe in this mission, and with a supportive community, he said they cannot fail. 

The data was submitted to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, and it was then returned to the Bartlesville Police Department. Going forward in 2020, Chief Roles said they hope to trend in the right direction.

In police administration, on of the ways they measure overall success is by looking at the crime rate. With the near 31-percent decrease in the crime rate in Bartlesville, Chief Roles would say that the BPD had a pretty successful 2019.

Chief Roles said the Bartlesville Police Department was not perfect in 2019, but he said they are going in the right direction. He said the data suggests that they still have work to do, despite the good news.

Looking forward, Chief Roles said they need to know what the data is telling them so the BPD can better deploy there resources. He said doing so will put them more on a preventive side of crime instead of on a reactive side.

There were 200 fewer property crimes in Bartlesville in 2019 versus 2018. In the Chief's opinion, this is a testament to the great work Bartlesville's police officers are doing. He said they are being more visable in the community, they are in out neighborhoods, and they are engaging everyone in a positive way.

The drop in property crime also shows Chief Roles that the community is doing a great job as well in terms of protecting their property and their neighbors. He said that the community is talking to them more and letting them know what is going on as well, which makes it feel like everyone is on the same team in Bartlesville to prevent crime and be what a community should be - together respectfully.

More communities should engage this way. Chief Roles credits trust for this togetherness in Bartlesville. He said everyone in Bartlesville shares a mission of growth, insight and friendship. While the reduction in crime seems like a police accomplishment, Chief Roles said that is not the case. Everyone has to make the community better, and he said that is happening in the city.

Sifting through the data further, the number of police call for service has had a steady increase of 15-percent this reporting period. Fire calls have steadily increased by 9.5-percent. Meanwhile, EMS calls dropped by 2-percent, but made a swing back up just over 8-percent by 2018. Calls to the Washington County Sheriff's Office increased by 7-precent between 2016 and 2017 but decreased by 3-percent over the 2017 to 2018 period.

Three homecides were reported in 2019. There were two homecides in 2016 and 2018. There were three homecides recorded in 2017. Overall, crimes against persons (i.e. homecide, rape, robbery, felonious assualt) decreased by 23-percent between 2016 and 2017, However, it increased by 39-percent between 2017 and 2018.

The number of incident reports took a large increase between 2017 and 2018 (8.5-percent) and a 9-percent total increase since 2016. Arrests increased each year of this reporting period. Between 2016 and 2017, there was an increase of 8.5-percent in terms of arrests. There was an 18.5-percent increase in arrests in 2019.

Citations and warnings decreased by 6-percent over the three-year period. There was a 14-percent decrease in accidents over the same time frame.

Lastly, as research indicates, with an increase in citations wrtten, the number of accidents will go down. This three-year period shows that trend. With a higher number of citations in 2016, there were fewer accidents (673). In 2017 the citation number went down and the number of accidents (712) increased. Again, in 2018, the number of citations picked up, and the number of accidents went down (576).

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