Killeen City Council members were briefed on an overview of the city’s 2013 crime rate during their workshop meeting Tuesday night.
Among the information provided by Police Chief Dennis Baldwin at the meeting was the per-capita crime rate in seven key areas, which KPD is required to track and report for the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report each year.
The per-capita rates, which measure the crime per 100,000 of the city’s population, showed decreases in six of the seven areas from 2012 to 2013.
Many of those decreases included violent crimes, such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The per-capita murder was cut nearly in half from 8.91 in 2012 to 4.37 in 2013. Robbery dropped from a per-capita rate of 175.26 to 123.95 in the same period.
The raw data showed there were six murders in 2013 compared to the previous year, and 12 in 2012, and 170 robberies compared to 236 for the same time period.
One area that increased from 2012 to 2013 was vehicle thefts, which rose from a per-capita rate of 142.59 to 150.2.
The raw data shows that there were 206 vehicle thefts in 2013, up from 192 in 2012.
“We’ve seen some significant reductions,” Baldwin said, noting that the crime rate has seen an overall decrease since 2000, even as the city’s population continued to grow.
The information Baldwin provided to the council was similar to the raw numbers of the same crimes presented in January.
Baldwin said the per-capita crime rate would allow the department to see how it stacks up against other cites with populations of more than 100,000.
“It gives us a chance to compare ourselves to the previous year, and it’s important to see how you are doing compared to your peer cities in relation to crime.”
Baldwin was asked at the meeting how the city stacked up when compared with other cities.
“I can tell you that in violent crime we tend to be higher ... but we do better in nonviolent crime when compared to other cities,” he said.
The downward trend in Killeen appears to mirror a similar trend in nationwide crime rates.
Law enforcement agencies reported a decrease of 5.4 percent in the number of violent crimes during the first six months of 2013 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2012, according to the FBI.
The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The number of property crimes in the United States from January to June of 2013 decreased 5.4 percent, according to the FBI’s preliminary report.
When asked if the downward trend in many of the crimes covered in Killeen’s UCR report would continue down in 2014, Baldwin said it was too early to say.
The 2014 crime statistics are expected to be released in July 2015.