2019-03-15 / News

Forest Acres reports lower crime rate

By Cathy Cobbs

The Forest Acres City Council met for its monthly meeting Tuesday, March 12.

The council heard good news about crime in the city; it’s going down in almost every category, following a ten-year trend.

Police chief Gene Sealy presented a detailed report tracking the total number of incident reports, false alarms, traffic tickets, arrest logs, drug crimes, larceny crimes, and other statistics. The overall report indicated a downward trend for nearly every category.

Traffic tickets issued in 2018 totalled 1,732, down from 1,931 in 2017. Arrests last year were 376, a decrease from 398 in 2017.

The total number of larceny crimes reported in the previous year was 868, just slightly below last year’s 869. Of the 868, 92 were burglaries, 13 were robberies, and 158 were thefts from motor vehicles.

Sealy also reported the Forest Acres Police Department did property checks on 550 residences or businesses for a total of 7,290 visits. The police also does welfare checks on its citizens on a regular basis. Mayor Frank Brunson commended Sealy and his department for continuing this service, long after most agencies have abandoned the practice.

“This is a great service that is available to anyone in the city,” Brunson said. “Not a lot of people may know about it.”

Sealy also reported the city installed 28 more cameras around the city, purchased patrol rifles for every squad car, trained its officers in CPR, first aid, and AED operation, and in 2018, unlocked 101 vehicles.

“We always are looking to improve on these numbers, but overall I think we are doing pretty well,” he said.

In other news, the council: •Approved the purchase of a sanitation recycling truck. •Was advised the mixed-use development being built on the former Cardinal Newman property would be getting a construction fence wrap along Forest Drive.

•Approved Pete Balthazor to be appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

•Moved the May council meeting to May 15 to avoid a conflict with the May 14 election.

•Listened to plans for Jammin’ on Forest, which will be held May 11 at 3600 Forest Drive. It is the replacement event for Rooftop Rhythms. The Blue Dogs will be playing at this family-friendly night, which will be held from 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m.

•Heard the city’s yearly audit raised no red flags.

At 6:40 p.m., the council retired to executive session to consider matters relating to the construction of a new city hall and police headquarters and other legal issues. No action was taken after the meeting.

In attendence at the meeting were Brunson, Ginger Dukes, Curtis Rye, Shell Suber, and Beau Powell.

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