HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)
With a lot of attention being focusedon the low number of Hattiesburg police officers, there is another aspect thatis on the decline when it comes to crime in the Hub City. In total, auto,commercial and residential burglaries are down from this time in 2013.
“We work hard for thepublic, and it is definitely shown from June of this year to June of last year,”said Hattiesburg Police Department PIO, Jon Traxler.
According to HattiesburgPolice Department records, the month of June 2013 accounted for 111 burglarycrimes. The records for June 2014 show a significant decline, standing at 71.
“The big thing with us is,when we see there is a spike in something, and to us, a spike is one more than itwas the month before.”
Breaking down the numbersshow that in June 2014, HPD recorded 30 auto burglaries, 17 commercialburglaries, and 24 residential burglaries. Of these three categories, the onlyarea that showed an increase was commercial burglaries with an additional 4from the previous year’s records.
“The fact that you havethe city spread out, you have vehicles everywhere, you have houses everywhere, Imean, just because of that, it makes it look like we have a problem area, whenin actuality if you take the number of houses, the number of cars and businessesthat we have inside the City of Hattiesburg and then compare the numbers forthe month of June, for the entire year of last year, the ratio is it wouldn'tbe as big of a problem if you want to call it that,” said Traxler.
Hattiesburg policeofficials urge people to be aware of what you leave in vehicles, and to notprovide an easy crime of opportunity by leaving valuables in sight and your carunlocked.
“This month, June 2014, wehad 30 auto burglaries, out of the 30 auto burglaries, 22 of those vehicleswere either left unlocked or had other unknown means of entry made to them,”said Traxler.
Officers work day by dayto increase counter measures, whether it is increasing patrols, increasinglight and security checks on buildings, vehicles, housing areas, and addingfoot patrols to apartment complexes.
“Burglary is a personablething, somebody breaks into your house, that's coming in to your personalspace, and we take that very seriously, just like a homicide and aggravatedassault,” said Traxler.