By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

Crime keeps on declining in Copperas Cove, according to year-to-date numbers released through May.

The decline follows along with 2008, when Cove police received 187 fewer reports of crimes, among categories collected by the FBIs Uniform Crime Report.

UCR crimes declined 20 percent through May 2009 in Cove. Cove police received 101 fewer reports than during the same period in 2008, department numbers showed.

The numbers defy conventional wisdom that people steal more and commit more overall crime during economic downturns, said Lt. Daniel Austin, Cove police spokesman.

Cove's decline coincides with improvements in Killeen and the nation overall. Killeen police reported declines through March 2009 after they achieved immense strides in 2008. The FBI reported violent crimes fell 2.5 percent and property crime fell 1.6 percent in 2008, according to a preliminary UCR report released in May.

However, reports of aggravated assaults increased sharply in Cove in 2008 and through May 2009, a problem experienced by departments both local and across the nation.

Summer usually signals a rise in crime for many communities, but Austin said that is not expected with Cove.

"We have a lot of folks that go on vacation. So right before summer we might see a spike, and then all of a sudden everybody must have gone on vacation because it'll wind down at times," Austin said.

He added that a crime spree, like a string of burglaries, for example, can deflate significant improvements, so numbers are always tenuous.

Austin also credited new officers hired over the last several years with rebuilding Cove's strength and providing a greater presence on the roads.

"Our manpower, our strength has come back up to where we're having more officers spend more time on the streets versus where we were three to four years ago," Austin said.

Contact Victor O'Brien at or (254) 501-7468.

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