There was a 5% increase in serious crimes during 2021, according to the newly-released Takoma Park Police’s annual report. Larceny and auto thefts increased the most.
There were 578 serious crimes in 2021. The previous year, there were 551. According to the annual report, assaults decreased by 36%, burglaries were down 9%, larceny rose 20%, murder increased from two to three, rapes decreased from seven in 2020 to four in in 2021, robbery increased by 17% and auto theft jumped by 25%.
In the past six years, Takoma Park has experienced a 16% increase in serious crimes, but most of that increase occurred in the last two years.
Much of the serious crimes took place in Ward Six, which includes New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard and borders Ward 2. 253 of the 578 serious crimes reported in Takoma Park occurred in Ward Six.
During 2021, the police department created its Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, which issued 51 recommendations.
The department, which has 43 sworn officers, teamed up with RS Automotive on Carroll Avenue and Lowe’s for its Etch and Catch Anti-Theft program. By having an etch mark on a car’s catalytic converter, police are more able to locate it should it get stolen.
There were 13 complaints filed against police employees, three of which were submitted by residents and the others by employees. Of those 13 complaints, nine were filed against a sworn police officer and two against civilian employees.
Of the 13 complaints, action was taken in 11 of them, one was ruled unfounded and one resulted in the employee resigning while under investigation, according to the report. Seven people received written reprimands, two were suspended without pay, one was demoted and action is pending on another.
According to the report, officers used force or displayed a show of force during 18 incidents, all of which were deemed justified. Two of those incidents involved the shooting a deer.
During 2021, there was one fatal car collision, 30 accidents that included personal injury and 165 that involved property damage.
— Takoma Park Police (@TakomaParkPD) March 10, 2022