Police Chief Says Crime Is Down in the Friendly City

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said violent crime decreased in the city in 2013.

A police department report released Monday shows that “Group A” offenses decreased by 8 percent from 2012 while “Group B” offenses went up by 11 percent.

According to the report, Group A offenses are generally more serious crimes, such as murder, robbery and sexual offenses, while Group B offenses involve driving under the influence, vagrancy, and other quality of life complaints.

“The majority of Group A offenses were down from a year ago,” Schwertfeger said. “Specifically, assaults, down 10 percent; burglary down 18 percent; motor vehicle theft, down 39 percent; and robberies, down 53 percent. Drug offenses, frauds and prostitution were three Group A offenses that were up slightly.”

Specific categories in Group B offenses remained fairly constant with the “all other” category reflecting the increase.

“There was a 5 percent decrease in the number of DUI charges-from 204 in 2012 to 192 in 2013,” Schwertfeger said.

Schwertfeger said Group A crime reductions are due to proactive work being done by officers on a daily basis, the first full year of one officer per car patrolling, geographic policing and the police district concept.

“Comparing this data to 2012, several categories stand out,” he said. “In 2013, (we) responded to 28,679 calls for service. This is a 6 percent increase, and at least a second year in a row that the total calls have increased by at least 5 percent.”