Keep crime stats on decrease

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The latest crime statistics released this week by the City of Selma indicates crime was down in 2006, compared to the previous year.

The numbers of complaints are down and arrests are up.

That’s good news for residents of Selma.

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However, there was at least one area in which crime has risen in the last year – the number of rapes. According to the statistics, the numbers of rapes reported in 2005 were 15. In 2006, there were 56 reported rapes, a sharp increase.

Police Chief Jimmy Martin said the increase in the category of rape is due to a variety of reports of a sexual nature, that were categorized separately in years past. Another reason for the apparent spike in numbers in the rape category has been the fact incident reports are written for each sex offenders reporting to the SPD, as they are required to by law.

There are no doubt a combination of factors that have lead to the decrease.

First, credit should be given to our police officers, who have a tough, thankless job to do.

Second, citizens must continue to get involved. Law enforcement can only truly know what’s happening in a community when residents let them know.

Third, our city leaders must continue to give support to law enforcement.

It may be time to follow the lead of progressive cities that pay tuition for officers who want college degrees in criminal justice. Some cities require officers to have degrees. How far are we away from that?