APD report shows 2013 increase in crime

The city's crime report is out for 2013, but Chief of Police Robert Taylor said the numbers can fluctuate somewhat after the state finalizes its numbers.

Amarillo police officers respond to nearly 130,000 calls each year, divide that by 170 officers responding, and for 2013 you get a 4.3 percent increase in crime.

Though Chief of Police Robert Taylor said any increase in crime is concerning, the last seven years show a steady decrease. For part one crimes in the last seven years, the city is down nearly 24 percent.

Part one crimes include everything from murder and rape, to aggravated assault and robbery.

For 2013, "The main increase were in theft related categories, auto theft and larceny theft," Taylor said.

As for auto theft cases from 2010-2014:

2010 - 85

2011 - 109

2012 - 122

2013 - 152

"Those are some hefty increases for theft," Taylor said. "We're going to assign officers to those specific areas that need directive patrol, and see if we can't get that number down."

As of overall crime recorded from 2010-2013:

2010 - 12,270

2011 - 10,629

2012 - 10,217

2013 - 10,659

Taylor presented the report to city council members who also voiced their concerns. "I think the most concerning is where is the criminal activity, and I guess we're seeing it in the theft category," City Council Member Ellen R. Green said.

Officer response times for 2013 are also up. "For priority one calls we're at about 11 minutes, and for all other calls 22, nearly 23 minutes," Taylor said.

According to Taylor the only way to decrease response times is to increase the number of officers. Green said in the past few years the city has worked with the department to close that gap.

"For the past few years we've been roughly short," Green said. "We hope this year if budget allows, we can grant them another 12 officers."