Suffolk County Police Acting Commissioner Stuart Cameron is highlighting the department’s first quarter statistics that show significant decreases in violent crime and drug overdose deaths with a double-digit reduction in overtime costs.
Violent crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped 18.9 % for the first three months of 2018 compared to the same timeframe in 2017. Shooting incidents saw one of the most dramatic decreases of all statistics with nine people injured or killed by gunfire in 2018 versus 17 in 2017, a 47% reduction. Property crimes including burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft are also down by 10.3%.
Statistics on our roadways also showed positive results at the start of the year as officers wrote 8.7% more traffic summonses as of March 24 with a 25% decrease in fatal motor vehicle crashes and an 11.1 % reduction in motor vehicle crashes resulting in injuries. These results reflect the department’s increased focus on traffic enforcement, the incorporation of an effective intelligence-driven model to traffic enforcement and the department’s new Alarm Management Program, which has freed up patrol time to allow for increased enforcement.
Tackling the narcotics epidemic is a top priority for the department and the department has allocated a number of resources to tackle the issue. This includes increases in the department’s representation on the DEA Task Force, the size of the Narcotics Section and the involvement of precinct-level detectives in narcotics work while also partnering with the Nassau County Police Department in a task force to combat overdoses.
In the first quarter of 2018, there was a 24.6 % increase in narcotics-related search warrants over the same time frame last year. During those searches, detectives arrested 155 people and seized 43 guns. Drug seizures increased dramatically with 871 grams of heroin seized (189% more YTD), and 3,732 grams of Cocaine seized (724% more YTD). Overall, the number of drug overdoses dropped 42% with 80% fewer people dying from heroin overdoses.
“The statistics in the first quarter of 2018 show impressive results which are reflective of the hard work done by the men and women of this department,” Acting Commissioner Stuart Cameron said. “The drop in crime occurred with a 17% cost reduction in overtime during the first quarter.”