Crime has decreased in the City of Taylor through the first four months of the year, according to Police Chief Mary Sclabassi's April report released to the City Council last week.

"As you see there is a decrease in both violent and property crime, with an overall decrease of approximately 15 percent from this time last year," Sclabassi wrote in an email. "The most significant decline (is) in (the) larceny (category)."

Based on statistics for violent crimes in January through April 2014, robberies are down 8.7 percent; criminal sexual conduct cases are down over 33 percent; and assaults are down over 1 percent. Total violent crime in the city is down slightly over 5 percent, with 302 total cases reported through the first four months of 2014 vs. 318 reported cases through the same time period last year.

In the area of property crimes, burglaries are down over 36 percent through the first four months of 2014 and larcenies are down over 23 percent. UDAA (motor vehicle theft as stolen property and fraud) is down nearly 4 percent. Total property crimes are down over 24 percent from 467 reported last year to 353 so far in 2014.

Drug crime is also slightly down in the city. VPHC (violations of controlled substances) are down over 4 percent compared to 2013, but narcotics' equipment violations are up 33 percent (12 this year compared to 9 during the first four months of last year). Overall drug crime is down slightly over 1 percent in the city.

Total crimes recorded in the City of Taylor, according to the report, are down over 15 percent through the first four months of the year. April noted the highest monthly number (216) thus far in 2014, compared to 191 in January, 151 in February and 193 in March. However, 2013 total of 751 is well under last year's total of 884 through the same time period.

For the time period, the TPD has responded to 13,426 calls, over last year's 13,276 total. 

Arrest trends should are measured by two categories -- total arrests and Group A crimes, which are considered more serious. Group A is a better measurement and are a better common indicator of crime trends. For 2014 thus far, total arrests are down 2.9 percent and Group A arrests are down 13.6 percent.

Mayor Rick Sollars, Taylor City Council and the TPD administration have steadily added police officers since late last year. In 2013, the department's staffing numbers dipped into the low to mid 60s due to budget constraints and retirements. 

In addition, Chief Sclabassi and her staff have reached out into the community to deter crime and help residents learn anti-crime techniques by starting the "Taylor on Watch" program, a series of town hall meetings scheduled throughout the year that focus on crime-fighting techniques and awareness and target specific portions of the community. The first meeting at City Hall was attended by over three dozen people from the southwest quarter of the city. 

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, in the City Hall Council Chambers. It will be focused on residents living in the area bordered by Van Born on the north, Telegraph on the west, Goddard on the south and Inkster on the west. Chief Sclabassi and staff will again show a detailed power point presentation of crime-fighting educational tips. The event will also include a question-and-answer session.

For further information on the "Taylor on Watch" program, handouts and attraction window decals are available at no charge in Mayor Sollars' office at City Hall during regular business hours.