Major Crime Down
The Naperville Police Department has released its crime statistics for 2021. Chief Jason Arres and his senior staff shared that overall major crime across the board including armed robbery, burglary, and burglary to motor vehicles have decreased compared to 2019 and 2020.
There was one murder reported in 2021, and criminal sexual assault went up by one from 20 cases in 2020 to 21 the following year. Arres said in 17 of the 21 cases, the victim and attacker knew each other. “I think the theme that I really want to hit is, we’re not a crime free city, we’re just a very safe city. And [if] you compare us to other cities in Illinois and around the country in like size to us, you’ll see that,” said Arres.
Though major crime is down by 33% overall, the chief acknowledged that it may not seem that way to the community. He attributed that perception to the increased social media push and Naper Notify.
What Has Gone Up?
What has gone up is the number of guns police have recovered and the number of firearms shot. In 2021, police recovered 146 guns compared to 82 in 2020 and 73 in 2019. 12 shots were fired in our city in 2021 compared to eight the year before. “Not necessarily where it was always at people or people were hit, but just any type of shooting is something we don’t want to see,” said Arres. “So the flip side of that is we’re very proactive as a police agency: visible in the community, making traffic stops, proactive police work.”
Another increase the department is seeing is the number of drivers who flee and escape police when they should be pulling over for a traffic stop. That number has doubled, from 51 in 2020 to 102 in 2021. “I’m trying to work through Illinois chiefs and partner with legislators, state’s attorneys offices on finding different ways to increase the penalties and other remedies that would assist us in deterring this crime,” said Arres.
New Online Form
Arres said partnership with the community is key to continue keeping Naperville safe. To help continue that, the department has launched an online form for the community to request free in-person trainings or presentations for groups like a homeowners association or other community meetings.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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