TOLEDO (WTOL) - The first quarter of 2019 is seeing a lower overall crime rate than the first quarter of 2018.
Violent crime across Toledo is down a total of six percent compared to this time last year.
Toledo’s police chief reported to city council members Wednesday that a long awaited decrease in gun violence has arrived.
"It’s a long term process, and there’s just no guarantee that it stays that way forever. With a little luck and some professional processes that we put in place, we’re able to curtail the crime,” Councilman Gary Johnson said.
Homicides are down 43 percent. Robberies are down 14 percent. Yet rapes are up eight percent, with six more reported this year than this time last year.
Toledo leaders attribute the overall decrease in violence to increases in crime-fighting technology for the department.
With a total of 615 officers and 38 new rookies on the job, leaders also believe the city’s growing police force has allowed them to be more proactive.
"As we gain more police officers and they’re out there patrolling, I think as we increase the numbers in our vice squad, gang squad and detective squad, we’re able to start looking at these things a lot closer,” Johnson said.
Perhaps most important, Chief George Kral believes the department’s community policing efforts are encouraging citizens to follow the rules. Community services officers will be soon be serving Toledoans from an ice cream truck and teaching kids new skills in summer camp.
"By having these summer camps and things going on here at PAL, it definitely I think helps in curtailing the gun violence as well as the gang violence here in the city and the local community,” Sgt. Ron Paris, with the Toledo-Lucas County Police Athletic League said.
Police and city leaders are eager to employ ShotSpotter in Toledo neighborhoods plagued by gun violence. They believe the technology will be ready to go the third week of May.