PEEKSKILL, N.Y. The city saw a 12 percent decrease in total crime in 2011 and Peekskill Police Chief Eugene Tumolo attributes the drop to quality police work.
While there was a slight increase in the number of robberies with nine in 2011 compared to six in 2010, most other crimes have decreased. The largest decrease was in the number of burglaries, with a 35 percent decrease compared to 2010. Last year also saw a 2 percent decrease in the number of larcenies committed in the city.
Tumolo said the department's no-nonsense approach to policing continued to pay off this past year.
"It's forcing people to change their behaviors," Tumolo said. "The people that engage in illegal behavior know that this is an effective department and chances are that if they commit a crime they're going to get caught."
Another key piece of the puzzle was educating the city residents through youth programs, community policing initiatives and traffic safety programs, he said.
For example, the chief said the department talks to some in the Latino community about keeping their valuables in secure locations in order to avoid burglary and making them aware of traffic and vehicle laws.
"There's a high incidence of driving without a license and unlicensed vehicles," Tumolo said.
The department also works to curb domestic violence in that community and help women and children who are victims of it get help through the proper agencies.
Motorist speeding is also being targeted on streets known for being problematic through increased patrols and electronic traffic enforcement devices.
Another program that has seen success is the summer youth academy and the force is planning other programs to keep students away from violence and crime, Tumolo said.
"We're getting more cops trained as youth officers and we have some now that are very effective and very good," he said. "The kids look up to them and we get good results from that."
Tumolo said slight increases or decreases were normal for many crimes but said the department was more concerned about the overall trends over a number of years, which he said had been positive.
"We had a few more robberies this year than last year and a few more stolen cars but property crimes went down, burglaries went down, larcenies went down, he added, thankfully we had no homicides last year, so that is very encouraging to see because it shows an overall trend."
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