South Jacksonville Police report successful 2014

By Ryne Turke on February 27, 2015 at 7:20am

South Jacksonville’s Police Chief says 2014 was a successful year for the South Jacksonville Police Department, and the statistics back that up.

According to department’s annual crime report, the number of calls, arrests and offenses decreased from 2013 to 2014.

Richard Evans recaps those statistics.

“We answered 13,913 calls; 6,600 were handled by dispatch and the rest were handled by our officers out in the field,” says Evans.

“When you look at the offense rate, we are down considerably. We had 96 offenses in 2013 and in 2014 we only had 67, nearly a 30 percent decrease. Whenever crime is down everyone is happy, but that can change in a moment when people start breaking into cars or doing vandalism to property. That appears to be one of the biggest things we look into anymore.”

Evans contributes “teamwork” as the key component of success at the South Jacksonville Police Department.

“The only reason you see cleared cases is the officers are out working and talking with the public. That is where we get our leads and information about cases,” says Evans.

“We cleared 48 offenses last year and that’s a 72 percent clearance rate. That goes right back to the man on the street. They are out there getting information and working with the public. I’m proud of that and this was a good year.”

Total accidents increased in South Jacksonville from 47 in 2013 to 57 in 2014. South Jacksonville officers wrote 44 more warnings in 2014 than in 2013, and Evans explains why.

“We try to work with the public and let them know a verbal or written warning is good,” says Evans.

“The economy is pretty tough and that is an expensive ticket. Officers are using good judgment out in the field.”

South Jacksonville Police issued $17,854 worth of ticket fines in 2014. That number is up over $600 from last year’s total, but nearly $5,700 lower than the fines reported in 2012.

Evans adds that the 11 officers at the SJPD participated in over 40 hours of training in 2014, which created a need for additional help at the station.

The SJPD is seeking qualified part-time police officers to work at local events throughout the year.