The incidence both
of violent crime and crimes against property was way down in unincorporated
Porter County last year.
arrests and OWI arrests--two separate categories--were way up.
And fatal traffic
accidents dropped significantly, despite an accompanying decrease in traffic
Those are the
headlines from the Porter County Sheriff’s Office’s 2018 annual report.
Begin with violent
crime: murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault. A total of
152 in all categories was reported last year, compared to 208 in 2017, a
drop of 27 percent.
* Murder: the PCSP
investigated no murders last year (one in 2017, zero in 2016, two in 2015,
zero in 2014, zero in 2013).
* Rape: eight rapes
were reported in 2018, compared to nine in 2017, a decrease of 11 percent
(five in 2016, five in 2015, five in 2014).
* Robbery: three
were reported last year, compared to four in 2017, a decrease of 25 percent
(three in 2016, four in 2015, seven in 2014).
assault: 12 were reported in 2018, compared to 15 last year, a decrease of
20 percent (13 in 2016, 26 in 2015, 28 in 2014).
* Simple assault:
147 were reported last year, compared to 150 in 2018, a decrease of 2
percent (144 in 2016, 174 in 2015, 172 in 2014).
property, on the other hand, plummeted in the unincorporated areas last
* Burglary: 68
burglaries were reported in 2018, compared to 95 in 2017, a decrease of 28
percent and a five-year low (120 in 2016, 90 in 2015, 113 in 2014).
* Theft: 213 thefts
were reported last year, compared to 355, in 2017, a decrease of fully 40
percent and similarly a five-year low (340 in 2016, 316 in 2015, 368 in
* Vehicle theft: 32
vehicle thefts were reported in 2018, compared to 40 in 2017, a decrease of
20 percent (30 in 2016, 37 in 2015, 31 in 2014).
UCR Part I
Taken together, the
incidents in 2018 of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated and simple assault,
burglary, theft, and vehicle theft--comprising Part I of the Uniform Crime
Report filed submitted annually by the PCSP to the FBI--totaled 483,
compared to 669 in 2017, a decrease of 28 percent (655 in 2016, 654 in 2015,
724 in 2014).
“This is the lowest
reported total of UCR Part I crimes in the last five years,” the PCSP said.
“One of the important aspects to mention is that thefts, burglaries, and
aggravated assaults are also the lowest they have been in the last five
arrests in all categories dropped 25 percent, to 1,453 from 1,931 in 2017
(1,999 in 2016, 1,789 in 2015, and 1,611 in 2014).
“I understand, and
I believe we all understand, that some crime cannot be prevented and it is
difficult to take credit for the reduction of crime statistically in Porter
County, just as it is to take the blame if it goes up,” Sheriff Dave
Reynolds said. “Porter County is listed by the U.S. census data as the ninth
largest county in Indiana. Our county is one of the fastest growing in the
State of Indiana because people consider, and see, that Porter County is a
safe place to work, live, and raise a family.”
criminal arrests, on the other hand, rose by 11 percent last year, to 61
from 55 in 2017 (125 in 2016, 77 in 2015, and 91 in 2014). Meanwhile, OWI
arrests more than doubled, to 296 from 195 in 2017 (249 in 2016, 242 in
2015, and 320 in 2014).
arrests were down by 27 percent, however, to 151 from 207 in 2017 (2016 in
2016, 207 in 2015, and 202 in 2014).
“In 2018 we had a
total of 14 officers meet the criteria to attend the Drunk Driving Task
Force’s DUI banquet, where they were honored for their work in keeping our
streets safe and removing those driving under the influence from our roads,”
the PCSP said. “The Sheriff’s Office led the way with a total of 488 overall
DUI arrests for all of the agencies in Porter County, as well as having the
two leading officers with the most DUI arrests. We believe this runs in
tandem with the 40-decrease in fatal crashes in the county.”
enforcement, as measured by stops, citations, and warnings, was down
significantly in 2018:
* Traffic stops:
12,796 last year, compared to 15,083, a drop of 15 percent (12,495 in 2016,
10,101 in 2015, and 12,738 in 2014).
* Citations: 2,097
in 2018, compared to 3,461 in 2019, a drop of 39 percent (3,738 in 2016,
2,868 in 2015, and 3,863 in 2014).
* Warnings: 10,853
last year, compared to 12,476 in 2017, a drop of 13 percent (10,963 in 2016,
9,617 in 2015, and 13,092 in 2014).
Fatal accidents in
unincorporated county fell by 40 percent last year, to nine from 15 in 2017
(seven in 2016, nine in 2015, and nine in 2014).
accidents rose slightly by 2 percent in 2018, to 290 from 284 (314 in 2017,
314 in 2016, 318 in 2015, and 357 in 2014).
accidents were stable last year, 1,306 compared to 1,304 in 2017 (1,340 in
2016, 1,256 in 2015, and 1,336 in 2014).
accidents fell dramatically in 2018, by 19 percent, to 67 from 83 in 2017
(91 in 2016, 78 in 2015, and 81 in 2014).
Other 2018 Numbers
* 911 calls: 3,948,
compared to 3,613 in 2017, an increase of 9 percent (3,721 in 2016, 4,184 in
2015, 5,853 in 2014). “As our county has grown, so have the calls for
service,” the PCSP said. “Although the size of our office has not grown to
match the growth of the county, the level of professionalism has been raised
within our agency and that bar has also been raised by the caliber of the
officers hired. We have recently implemented body cameras and car cameras
for all of the patrol officers. We feel this addition will provide a needed
tool to keep our officers safer, promote transparency to the public, and
reduce potential liability.”
* Average daily
jail count: 364, compared to 424 in 2017, a decrease of 14 percent (411 in
2016, 401 in 2015, 411 in 2014). “The progressive programs we have
implemented in our jail are helping to reduce recidivism and have resulted
in the jail population being lower than it has been in 10 years,” the PCSP
The PCSP made note
of two programs in particular: the Heroin Overdose Response Team; and One
County One Protocol.
Of the former it
said, “We are very proud of the proactive initiatives we have continued
regarding our fight against the heroin epidemic that has plagued our county,
by expanding the Heroin Overdose Response Team within our department. Our
HORT initiative has been extended throughout the region and is being modeled
throughout the State of Indiana.”
Of the latter it
said, “The Porter County Sheriff’s Office continues to lead the way in
school safety. As we continue to follow the implemented One County One
Protocol, we have also increased our number of certified National
Association of School Resources Officers (NASRO) to 21 from our agency
alone. We will be sending at least 16 more officers to the NASRO training in
the spring to bring our totals to 37.”
“It is important to
me that the citizens of Porter County understand that the men and women of
the Sheriff’s Office, both those in the jail and those who patrol our
streets and investigate crimes, are well trained and equipped to keep our
county safe,” Sheriff Dave Reynolds said.