A spike in crime statistics in Madisonville means a fully staffed police department is doing its job, not a rise in crime, Madisonville Police Chief Herbert Gilbert said.
Overall, however, offenses were down in 2018 over 2017 numbers, according to MPD statistics. Total calls for service in 2017 were 2,675, and for 2018, 2,598.
The numbers show that officers are being proactive in law enforcement, Gilbert said.
The statistics show only few changes of note, such as burglaries, down from 87 to 59, and thefts down from 111 to 101.
“We are fully staffed and have more officers on the street, which allows more investigations,” he said.
Gilbert also said that instead of normal patrol, the city now has a dedicated traffic enforcement unit for all offenses and working accidents in and out of town.
“When you’re out there doing traffic stops, you’ll get other things as well, all of which means more drug arrests and warrant arrests and similar items,” he said.
The numbers bear that out, as arrests from warrants and traffic increased from 134 to 165. Additionally, tickets for speeding climbed from 760 to 838, and disregarding traffic devices were at 71, up from 17.
“That’s what we’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “It’s not all about revenue, it’s about keeping our streets clean. We’re heading in the right directions. All the officers are buying in to the philosophy of our department, and what the community expects.”
For the most part, Gilbert said, Madisonville is a community that sees mostly minor crimes. The largest jumps were in civil disturbances — at 124 over 104; domestic violence — at 62, up from 32; and verbal disturbances, at 160, up from 93.
“In Madisonville, a lot of the violent crimes, even the robberies, are not what most communities have,” Gilbert said. “All of those are down.”