JPD 2014 report: more accidents, less cannabis arrests

By Gary Scott on January 29, 2015 at 7:27am

The Jacksonville Police Department has released its crime stats report for last year.

The department responded to 24,600 calls for service, a decrease of 8.1 percent from 2013.

There was one murder case in the city last year. Avery Berry was charged in the death of Marcus Jackson, and that case continues into 2015. There were six criminal sexual assault cases and 20 aggravated assault or battery cases, both decreases.

There was a big increase in theft, with 410 cases, which is 76 more. There were 95 burglaries reported, which is about the same as 2013.

There were 173 drug arrests, including 58 for cannabis possession, 36 for methamphetamine, and 25 for controlled substances.

The amount of pot arrests went down significantly compared to 2011 through 2013, dropping by almost 40 percent. Jacksonville aldermen passed an ordinance in June decriminalizing possession of small amounts of weed.

Another interesting note on the 2014 report is about the Special Response Team. The team, comprised of officers from the city police department, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Chapin Police Department, was activated twice for security purposes. Once was in response to a possible protest in the downtown area following developments in Ferguson, Missouri.

There was an uptick in traffic accidents, with 54 percent more than in 2013, or a total of 448 major or reportable accidents. The highest number was in February, when Jacksonville experienced several bouts of winter weather. There was one fatal accident in 2014 in the city.

There were a total of 27 DUI arrests made last year; 921 traffic arrests were made.

The arrest clearance rate for criminal activities this year was 48.8 percent.