Spencer, NC (WBTV) - Spencer Police Chief Michael James received a special recognition on Tuesday night from the Town of Spencer.
The following is the wording for the tribute paid to Chief James by Town Manager Larry Smith:
Chief James came to us late 2010, so 2011 was his first full year in Spencer for me to be able to begin evaluating the effects of his leadership on crime statistics. The SBI just released our official 2014 statistics.
Index Offenses (major tracked crimes such as robbery, MV theft, aggravated assault) In 2011 we had 236 index offenses within the Town of Spencer. By 2012, after just the first full year of his time here, major crimes had dropped an astounding 22%. A rash of aggravated assaults in 2013 caused the major crimes number to rise slightly, by 3.3%.
Among many other tactics, the Chief recommended a significant restructuring of the department to maximize patrol and other resources. By the end of this past year (2014), we realized another major drop – 12.1% – in these major crimes.
That's a net decrease in major crimes of almost 31% over just 3 years' time! Total Offenses (Index plus Non-Index tracked crimes) From 2010-2011 we had seen an increase of about 14% in total tracked offenses.
By the end of 2012 that amount dropped 15.7%. By 2013, another 3.1% decrease. Rounding out 2014, yet another decrease of 7.3%.
That's a net decrease in total offenses of 26.1% over just 3 years' time!! Statistics can often be attributed to coincidence, inconclusive data, or a number of other things – and there are indeed crime trends that will occur beyond anyone's control.
Having supervised Chief James' performance personally over these past 4 ½ years though, I know that his recommended restructuring changes of the Police Dept, his keen sense of the "what, where, how, and when" behind optimizing patrols and resources, and his tireless dedication to not just serving, but bettering the Town of Spencer and its Police Department, are unquestionably the most major and direct factors responsible for the increased safety and quality of life our citizens are enjoying.