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Ossining Police: Crime Stats Down in Recent Years

OSSINING, N.Y. – With nearly 40 years under his belt with the Village of Ossining Police Department, Lt. Michael McElroy has seen his fair share of crime.

And after releasing the department’s latest reports and arrests from the last few years, McElroy said it’s clear that overall crime is down in the village.

“When I started here we had about one murder a year. And burglaries and robberies were closer to one a day,” McElroy said Wednesday, adding that the only two murders in the last seven years occurred in 2006 and 2007. “The statistics might vary a bit from year to year but overall, the way I look at it is we’re way down from where we were.”

Village of Ossining Police statistics indicated that a majority of violent crimes and category one crimes are down in 2011 from 2005. The six category one crimes include rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle theft. There was one report of a rape in 2011 and none in 2010 after three reports in 2005. Reports of robbery rose to 25, the highest reported since 26 in 2005. Aggravated assault also rose slightly to 15 in 2011 from 14 in 2010, but it’s less than half the 33 reported in 2005. Burglaries rose to 79 in 2009 but have since fallen to 42 in 2011. Motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly to 8 in 2011 compared to the 31 reported in 2005.

“If we get eight more crimes in one category than another we might see a dramatic looking percentage increase but basically the trends of the last few years are following national trends and they’re going down,” McElroy said.

In 2010 there were fewer aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts, but McElroy said all of the categories fell into expected parameters.

Drug arrests have dropped significantly to 57 in 2011 from 186 in 2005. McElroy attributed the steady decline in arrests to staffing and personnel changes rather than an indication of lowered drug use in the village.

“Drug offenses vary because in some years our manpower allows us to run more proactive drug operations and in years past we had drug units with plain clothes officers making arrests,” McElroy said. “Now we’ve got five officers out on disability and our schedule isn’t permitting us to have that proactive time we’d normally like to have.”

McElroy added that the village police budget has been reduced slightly in recent years, allowing for fewer overtime hours.

“They have made cuts in the budget but they have not cut personnel,” McElroy said. “But because we have personnel out and we’ve been experiencing cuts in overtime, that’s affected us. So we’re not able to get out to make those arrests as much as we’d like.”

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