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St. John Sheriff’s Office reports drops in 2016 crime compared to previous year

Major crime reported in St. John the Baptist Parish in 2016 decreased by 24 percent from the previous 2015, according to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, which released crime statistics collected by the department.

Overall 1,243 crimes were reported in St. John Parish in 2016, compared to 1,638 in 2015.

“This is a very good benchmark for SJSO to improve on,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said. “These numbers are encouraging and should be a measuring stick for future improvement.”

Continuing education and teamwork contributed to this major reduction, Tregre said.

“This reduction can be attributed to better training and improved communication between multiple departments and shifts,” he said.

While the number of homicides — six — remained the same in 2015 and 2016, decreases were recorded in six of seven crime categories.

There was a major decrease in the number of burglaries with 93 in 2016, compared to 307 in 2015. Also falling in 2016 were the numbers of forcible rape cases, three in 2016, compared to six in 2015; robberies, 51 in 2016, compared to 58 in 2015; assaults, 141 in 2016, compared to 157 in 2015; larceny-theft, 907 in 2016, compared to 1,055 in 2015; and motor vehicle theft, 42 in 2016 to 49 in 2015.

Several factors have led to this success, Tregre said.

“First, the SJSO has created an internal electronic alert system for the entire department that alerts officers on or off duty of a crime within minutes,” he said.

“This has led to more apprehensions at a faster rate. Secondly, the increased number of crime cameras in the community has contributed to our ability to solve cases. Finally, our three- to five-minute response time on calls for service is a tremendous deterrent to criminal activity. This should send a message that if you commit a crime in St. John Parish, chances are high you will probably get captured and convicted.”