Crime in Martinsville hits a 10-year low

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - Roger Curtis manages The Jewler's Edge in uptown Martinsville and was not surprised to learn that the police department's latest annual report shows crime in the city is now the lowest it has been in a decade.

In the past three years, Part I crimes dropped 30 percent and violent crime dropped 59 percent, according to the department's 2016 annual report, which was presented to city council this week.

"It's not a surprise because they're working very hard at trying to make things the best they can," said Curtis.

He sees that effort on a regular basis and says it is comforting.

"They've been doing a riding patrol on good days; we'll have the bicycle police come through," Curtis explained. "Then, even on other days they'll have the police chief himself walk up and down the street and pop in the stores, try to get to know some of the vendors and let us know that there is a police presence here."

Chief Sean Dunn said it is this effort that he believes makes the community so willing to help the police department combat crime and that help is a major reason why crime is so low.

"Our citizens, they're on it. They're tired of crime, they're tired of violence, they're tired of drugs," Dunn emphasized. "Our commitment to the citizens is, if you trust us and you work with us to share this information with us we'll address it. Doesn't always happen as quickly as we'd like or as quickly as they would like but they that we're addressing it."

Douglas Hairston owns a car wash in uptown. Like Curtis, he said the news of the low crime rate is comforting, especially knowing how bad it has been in the past, but he is also not surprised.

"With the new police chief we've got in the area, he's a no-nonsense kind of guy. He's staying up on the drugs," Hairston said.

Both Hairston and Curtis said they hope that the police department doesn't let up and continues its efforts to connect with the community so that crime will continue to decrease.

Dunn said the department is working on implementing some new software and after recalculating the numbers with the new software crime might actually be lower than it has been in more than a decade.

About the Author: