Crime rates in Washington Township plummeted over the first nine months of 2013, compared to the same time period in the previous year.
According to the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Report, released this month, the township saw a 50-percent drop in simple assault, and another drop in larceny occurrences.
Burglary instances dropped by more than half between January and September, and overall crime had a decrease in the township of more than a third, the report showed.
Instances of simple assault dropped from 22 to 11 year over year. Simple assault is defined as using hands, fists, and feet in the report.
In the three categories of burglary, Washington Township saw a decrease of 53.8-percent, from 13 to 6 year over year. Forcible entry dropped from 10 to 4, unlawful entry stayed the same at two, and attempted forcible entry dropped from 1 to zero.
There were 56 occurrences of larceny in 2012, and dropped 23.2-percent to 43 in 2013.
Overall the township saw a decrease of 33.7-percent in the categories of robbery, assault, simple assault, burglary, larceny/theft, and motor vehicle theft, from 95 occurrences to 63.
The Washington Township Police Department operated in the first half of 2013 with a squad of 29 officers at all ranks. That number dropped to 28 when an officer was placed on medical leave, and will now be retired from the force effective Nov. 1.
In addition, two senior officers – a lieutenant and the police chief – are eligible for retirement Nov. 1 and immediately, respectively. Two rookie police officers became road-ready late this past summer after six months of training and three months of coupled, on-road training in the township.
Does the crime rate drop surprise you? Do you think it could or should be lower? Higher? Let us know!