Crime, traffic accidents down in county

March 30, 2019

La PORTE – La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd says members of his department are “committed to improving the safety and quality of life” for county residents – and the department’s annual report shows they are getting the job done.

The Sheriff’s Department’s 2018 Annual Report, released Friday, “reveals some major reductions in certain areas of emphasis by employees of the sheriff’s office,” Boyd said. Those include “a reduction in the amount of major cases investigated and a drastic reduction in every category related to motor vehicle crashes.”

The report contains crime-related and statistical information on calls for service, offenses, arrests, crashes, citations, the Jail Division, the Warrants Division and the Civil Division.

The number of calls for service in 2018 decreased by 12 percent, according to the report. A total of 27,177 calls were handled by deputies of the sheriff’s office, as compared to 30,830 2017. Offenses generating an incident report decreased by 9 percent, with 3,369 investigated in 2018 as compared to 3,685 in 2017.

Boyd was most please to see that “statistical data in several major crime categories of the report revealed reductions.”

Rapes investigated decreased by 50 percent from 2017 (10 vs. 5), burglaries investigated decreased by 39 percent (193 vs. 117), thefts investigated decreased by 29 percent (300 vs. 214) and motor vehicle thefts decreased by 39 percent (56 vs. 34), the report showed.

In 2018, deputies made a total of 4,322 arrested; and issued 2,148 traffic citations and 6,222 traffic warnings to motorists. A total of 3,264 criminal arrest warrants were issued in 2018 and 2,902 warrants were served, the report showed.

“The total amount of warnings issued versus the total amount of citations issued shows that our deputies are utilizing their discretion to correct driving behaviors and habits when encountering motorists on La Porte County roadways,” Boyd said.

A total of 1,314 traffic crashes were investigated in 2018, a reduction of exactly 100 crashes from the previous year’s 1,414, Boyd said.

Of those, 285 personal injury crashes were investigated in 2018 as compared to 337 in 2017; and nine fatality crashes were investigated as compared to 14 in 2017, which resulted in 19 deaths.

“When comparing crash-related statistics from 2017 versus 2018, significant numbers were moved,” Boyd said.

“These reductions are attributed to a variety of factors, which include increased emphasis and visibility by deputies of the Patrol Division on predetermined roadways. Additionally, the sheriff’s office continues to pursue and receive federally funded grants from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. These grants allow us to deploy additional deputies at no additional cost to the taxpayers.”

The La Porte County Jail booked in 4,524 subjects in 2018 – 3,259 men and 1,255 women, the report showed. The average daily population of inmates at the jail was 348. The kitchen staff of the jail prepared and served a total of 350,068 meals.

The entire annual report, along with the Jail Division annual report, will be published on the department’s website – laportecountysheriff.com.

“We encourage citizens of La Porte County to review the report, which provides valuable statistical information into the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the sheriff’s office,” Boyd said. It also “provides the taxpaying citizens of La Porte County an opportunity to educate themselves as to how their tax dollars are utilized.

“I am thankful the employees of the sheriff’s office remain committed to improving the safety and quality of life in La Porte County.”