Crime Rate Dropped in 2012; Heroin Continues to 'Plague' City

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MTT News Desk's picture
By: 
Matt Geiger

The local crime rate hit its lowest point in more than a decade last year, with the Middleton Police Department (MIPD) reporting an FBI index of 2,754 crimes per 100,000 citizens.

However, chief of police Brad Keil said offenses linked to heroin continue to “plague” the Good Neighbor City.

Middleton’s crime rate in 2012 was lower than those of Madison, the United States, and Dane County, respectively. It was slightly higher than the State of Wisconsin’s rate of 2,695.

The local violent crime rate remained lower than those of Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, and the United States.

“We are very fortunate to experience a crime rate that is
 typically lower than National, State, and Dane County rates of crime,” wrote Keil in his introduction to the annual MIPD report. “Unfortunately, the use of heroin, and crimes being committed by 
users of heroin, continues to plague our community.”

Keil said burglary, theft from vehicles and fraud were frequently linked to heroin users, who committed their crimes to help fund their drug habits.

The MIPD Communications Center received a total of 3,049 emergency 911 calls last year, along with 23,099 non-emergency calls.

The highest volume of calls (184) came on Dec. 20, the day a large snowstorm came howling into the city. (The slowest day of the year took place just four days earlier, when police received only 36 calls.)

Larceny and theft made of the bulk of crime in Middleton last year, with 330 reported cases. Burglary came in a distant second (86 cases), followed by Assault and Battery (58), Robbery (eight), Motor Vehicle Theft (eight) and Rape (three reported cases).

There was one crime documented in 2012 that is rarely seen in Middleton: Human Trafficking. It began Feb. 2 on the 5200 block of Brindisi Court. According to police, investigators following up on a simple tip ended up launching a ten-month investigation that brought in officers from other law enforcement agencies, as well. The investigation led to Alvin C. Siller being charged with Human Trafficking, 1st degree Reckless Endangerment, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Battery, Substantial Battery and Strangulation.

Bloodshed 1,000 miles away brought school safety back to the fore of national news in December of 2012, but Keil said local police have been working proactively with officials in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District for years now.

Keil said officers “worked very closely with our school district this past year on planning for and responding to critical incidents that might occur at schools or during school related activities.” Law enforcement officials, along with staff representing all schools in the district, participated in tabletop exercises simulating various emergency situations.

“The recent tragic events occurring in Newtown, Connecticut, will keep us focused
 on school safety and security in 2013,” wrote Keil. “Joint training and a full scale exercise, paid for in part with a grant through the Office of Justice Assistance, has been planned for 2013. Our staff will be working with school officials on aspects of physical security in all schools, including the planning phase of the new [Kromrey] middle school.”

The MIPD report also noted a tragedy that befell a local teen in 2012. A Middleton High School student committed suicide in February of last year. The death was followed by two failed suicide attempts that occurred at Middleton High School (MHS), according to police. Following the student’s death, another MHS pupil attempted to hang himself in a high school bathroom, and another took an intentional overdose of pills at school. Police said both attempts failed.

MIPD continued expanding its use of social media in 2012. The department encourages citizens to follow local police activities on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for various email alerts at www.middletonpd.com.

 

 

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