Neptune’s reportable crime rate, which includes both violent and property crimes, decreased by 12.5 percent last year, according to the department’s 2015 annual report.
Presented to the Township Committee and public this weet, the report shows that violent and property crimes went from 1,541 crimes in 2014 to 1,347 last year, according to FBI statistics. Calls for service to the police department dropped from 38,611 in 2012 to 34,258 last year.
“I am proud of our 74 sworn full-time police officers, our part-time special law enforcement officers, and our civilian staff who have accepted the responsibility of protecting Neptune and who give of themselves each and every day to assure that we operate in accordance with the best known practices for a local police department while maintaining the trust and respect of those we serve,” Police Director Michael J. Bascom said.
He said the police department has continued to meet the needs of the community by responding to more than 34,000 requests for police assistance last year.
“In 2015, our department, like many across the nation, has faced changes in society, media, and public perception and harnessed these changes as opportunities to grow and advance. We have expanded our public outreach campaigns, developed a significant social media presence and expanded our participation in community events. We have worked to provide our officers with training and opportunities to assure that they have the most current and consistent understanding of the needs in our community,” Police Chief James M. Hunt Jr. said.
According to the report, the Detective Bureau handled 458 cases in 2015, which resulted in arrests in 233 of the cases. The Street Crimes Unit had 661 total arrests, seized $40,965 in currency, and recovered three handguns.
A township-wide traffic-calming initiative has also slowed down traffic in problem areas and improved safety for pedestrians and motorist alike. The Traffic Bureau issued a total 8,555 summonses for speeding, parking and other violations last year.
Community and school outreach programs and improved social media and public information programs have been initiated and the police department’s stand-alone website www.NeptunePolice.org is expected to be up and running by May 2.
The police department continued with the process of pursuing accreditation from the NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police in 2015 and was again named an accredit agency on March 10 this year.
During 2015, 32 Internal Affairs complaints were reported by citizens compared to 23 reported in 2014 with 63 internal reviews compared to 61 in 2014.
Goals for the police department in 2016 are to reduce crime and the fear of crime, to provide peace of mind to the community, improve the overall quality of life for residents, and to build and maintain effective partnerships through various initiatives.