If you are thinking about committing a crime in Shelbyville, you had better think twice. Shelbyville Police Chief Brent Fogleman reported a ninety-two percent solved rate for crimes in Shelbyville, as well as a drastic reduction in crimes.

These facts came out during the annual police department report to the city council at their meeting, Monday, January 16th.

“There is good news, crime is down,” Fogleman told the council.

After the report was accepted by the council, Mayor Gary Crowder asked Fogleman to thank every member of that department.

“If you would pass on to all your officers, we congratulate them and thank them for an outstanding year,” said Crowder.

Commissioner of Health and Safety, Joe Beck said he is tickled to death with the numbers. Beck is naturally proud of the job the department has done and the leader of the department, Chief Fogleman.

“He (Fogleman) started from ground zero and worked 30 years of service to get to the position of Police Chief,” continued Beck.

Beck believes the figures speak for themselves.

“This shows all their hard work is starting to pay off,” said Beck. “Wrecks are down, tickets are down, DUI’s are down, I mean it is a better community from a year ago. I’m thankful to be part of it.”

The annual report shows 69 DUI’s in 2004 compared to 43 in 2005. Simple math tells you that is 26 less DUI’s. Fogleman said many of the DUI arrests last year came from individuals who were from out-of-town.

“Our department has zero tolerance for drunk drivers, so either they are stopping before they are intoxicated or they are calling someone to come and get them,” Fogleman continued.

That ninety-two percent solve rate for crimes in Shelbyville is a very high figure. Mattoon’s Deputy Chief David Griffith said his department does not keep solved percentages, but he estimates their department to be in the neighborhood of fifty-eight percent.

Fogleman contributes that high percentage number partly to the types of crimes that his department responds to, in most cases.

“The highest percentage of our crimes are domestic batteries, burglaries and criminal damage to property,” said Fogleman.

With domestic batteries, the officers are generally on scene very shortly after they occur.

“So, we can do something about that almost immediately,” continued Fogleman.

Fogleman went on to say criminal damage to properties and burglaries tend to run in series.

“Our officers, especially night shift officers have a great disdain for burglars,” Fogleman said. “We have no tolerance for an individual who is too lazy to work, but goes out and steals from somebody who has worked hard all their life. So, we take that almost as a personal challenge to catch that individual when we get a burglary on the night shift.”

He said the officers will just work and work until they solve that burglary. The other eight percent that remain unsolved are usually what are called petty crimes and may not be solved.

In 2004 there were 24 burglaries committed in Shelbyville, in 2005 there were 7. Fogleman did say the number of burglaries in 2004 was due to a series of boat burglaries.

“We actually cleared those, with the help of two other agencies,”.

There were 49 instances of criminal damage in 2004, and only 25 in 2005. The list goes on, 15 cases of forgery in 2004, 4 cases in 2005. The department responded to 194 accidents in 2004, and 158 in 2006 for a drop of -36. Total complaints filed with the department in 2004, were 4,794 compared with 3,683 in 2005 for a reduction of 1,111.

On this statistic, Fogleman admitted they really don’t know why that number is down so low.

“We all looked at each other and scratched out heads, and said we have happier citizens,” laughed Fogleman.

Fogleman’s report touched on the work the city does for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That work brought $14,309 into the city’s general fund.

“We figure it pays the cost of one squad car,” said Fogleman. “Corps property is in the city, so we would have to answer those calls anyway.”

The Chief believes the numbers look so good because he has a “seasoned department” that have learned to compliment each other.

“I am extremely fortunate to have officers that just fill every niche needed to be filled in police work,” said Fogleman. “The department works well together and morale is very high, we are kind of family.”

Fogleman said another important factor is the department is well accepted by the community.

“The feedback I am getting is the public actually likes the police department,” said Fogleman.

Another important factor brought out in the annual report shows no lost time accidents for the department.

“I think that probably the biggest deterrent to officer’s injuries is working two officers per shift,” Fogleman said. “It is a proven fact that they are much more likely to take on one officer then they are two.”

Fogleman contributes much of the department’s success to an extensive, ongoing training program.

Naturally as the leader of the department, Fogleman is proud of the results.

“We have a Police Commissioner that is extremely supportive of the department, and we have a city council that is very supportive, which makes all the difference in the world,” said Fogleman. “It is important to know that the administration of the city stands behind you when you are out here.”

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