We recently received our annual Police Department Report, and it is good news for the town. The report revealed that all violent crimes went down in 2021. In just about all categories versus the previous year. Homicides were down 75%, there were 11 robbery cases in 2021, down 35% from the previous year.
Police Chief Luther Cuttino pointed out at a recent Town Council meeting that town assaults in town increased in 2020 from 193 in 2020 to 201 in 2021. He said that now the court system has added training and counseling for offenders of this crime which is a welcomed change.
Most of the property crime has also decreased in 2021. There were 21 burglaries in 2021 down over half of what was reported in 2020. There were 289 larceny cases, down 12% from the previous year. Auto thefts were also down with 58 cases in 2021. The Chief noted that vehicle recoveries improved from 2020 and he credited the new LPR’s (License Plate Readers) that the town recently purchased. Those cameras send information to police when a plate is read from a stolen car or for any other crime that license plate is involved in. In additional to readers being at several town intersections, one system is now installed in a police car allowing reading to be done as the vehicle is traveling anywhere in town.
I personally enjoy my relationship with our Police Chief, Assistant Chief, and our great Police Commission. We communicate and I can always relay a concern to them, and it is handled as soon as possible. We will be signing a new F.O.P. (Fraternal Order of Police) Collective Bargaining Agreement at our April 12th meeting. I am proud to be offering many new benefits to our men and women on the force who risk their lives each day to serve and protect the residents, visitors, and business owners of Merrillville.
I’d like to congratulate our police department for this great report. Public safety impacts us all and good reports like this keep us all safe and increase property values as well as attract new businesses to town. Keep up the great work everyone!
To view the entire annual report, you may download it by clicking the button below. It is a PDF file.