Report: Crime up in city, down in county in 2012

Becky Campbell • Apr 22, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Johnson City had slightly more criminal offenses reported in 2012 than the previous year while Washington County experienced a decrease, according to crime statistics released Monday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The number of crimes committed in 2012 in Johnson City went up a little more than 1.5 percent from 2011 — 83 actual incidents — and the statistics showed more crimes against society, such as drugs, gambling and weapon possessions, but fewer property crimes and crimes against a person.

The total number of crimes committed in the city in 2012 was 6,135, while the total number in 2011 was 6,052. The 2011 crimes were down about 1.5 percent from the 6,161 crimes in the city in 2010.

In the domestic violence crime category, there were 39 fewer incidents reported in the city in 2012 than in 2011.

The Johnson City Police Department arrested 4,442 people in 2012, including 357 juveniles. Juvenile arrests were down from 2011, when there were 416 taken into custody for a criminal offense.

JCPD Chief Mark Sirois said an increase in offenses doesn’t always tell the whole story.

“When you look at crime rate ... some of the increases are due to directed enforcement on those particular offenses,” Sirois said. “It may not necessarily be a spike in crimes, it may just be more enforcement.”

Sirois said community involvement is often how certain criminal activity is targeted.

“The more that people share with us the more action we can take, and that’s going to show up in categories of criminal activity because you’re going to have more arrests,” he said.

In Washington County, the sheriff’s office reported 295 fewer Group A crimes in 2012 than the previous year. That includes a decrease of 189 domestic violence crimes.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested 3,822 people in 2012, including 92 juveniles. Juvenile arrests were down from 2011, when there were 134 taken into custody for a criminal offense.

The TBI separates crimes into two sections — Group A and Group B. Within those sections are more detailed categories. Group A crimes consist of 47 offenses, including crimes against a person, property or society.

Group B crimes include bad checks, disorderly conduct, DUI, public intoxication, non-violent family offenses, runaways, trespassing and “all other offenses,” according to the statistical information.

The TBI compiles annually the number of crimes reported to every law enforcement agency in the state, including colleges and universities, and publishes the information each spring in a comprehensive report.

The reports are available on the TBI website at http://1.usa.gov/Hg6QLy.

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