Is crime going up or down in Shelbyville? According to the annual Police Year End Report for 2019 from Chief Dave Tallman, the news was mostly good.
According to Tallman, crime statistics were down by category, but not by complaint. There were 1,419 complaints in 2018 and it increased to 1,723 complaints in 2019.
However, the chief said complaints resulted in 437 reports being written in 2018, but that number decreased to 413 in 2019. There were more complaints, but fewer of those justified a report being written, he said.
According to Tallman, the case solved rate was 97% in 2018 and 97% in 2019.
There were two arson incidents in 2018 and none in 2019. In 2018, there were no homicides, but Tallman said in 2019 there was one homicide. Samantha Cushing and her unborn child were killed in July. Deven A. Barger has been charged with first-degree murder and intentional homicide of an unborn child in that case.
Tallman during a council meeting on Monday reported that there were 17 home burglaries in 2018 and only 6 in 2019. There were 8 vehicles broken into in 2018 and just 3 in 2019. There were 12 criminal damage to property incidents in 2018 and 8 in 2019. There was one forgery incident in 2018 and none in 2019.
Battery charges went up. According to Tallman, there were six simple battery charges in 2018 and the same number in 2019. However, there were two aggravated battery cases in 2018, but went up to 6 in 2019.
There were 15 domestic battery cases in 2018. That went up to 20 in 2019. There were 19 domestic calls without arrest in 2018 and 18 in 2019.
He reported 124 vehicle accidents in 2018 and 129 in 2019. There were 7 hit and run incidents in 2018 and just one in 2019. There were 10 DUI incidents in 2018 and just 2 in 2019. There were 36 warrant arrests in 2018 and 33 in 2019.
Additionally, Tallman reported on the police hours in connection with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Lake Shelbyville. There were 313 hours both years with the payment being the same, $17,997.50.
There were 105 hours spent in connection with the school system in 2018 and 110 hours in 2019.
Tallman also reported on the work of Police Dispatcher Penny Standerfer with animal rescue. She was involved with 95 dog rescues in 2018 and 85 in 2019. Over 13 years she has been part of 2136 dogs and 698 cats, a total of 2834 animals.
After Tallman's report, Mayor Johnson asked the council if they would accept his report and they voted unanimously, 4-0, to put the report on file. Commissioner Thom Schafer was not present.
At the end of the meeting in public comments, Sharon Barricklow addressed the council concerning the 2020 census. Barricklow is soliciting census workers to go door-to-door.
Fifty people can be hired to cover the county at a rate of 15.70 per hour. Hours are flexible, from 10-40 hours per week. The work could last from 8 to 12 weeks. For those interested in working for the census, she will be at the Shelbyville Job Center on Thursday, February 6 from 2-4 p.m. The job Center number is (217) 774-5550.
"The census forms will be mailed out April 1," Barriclow said. "People can respond on line or mail the form in and no one will come to your door. It's only if people don't respond that workers will go door-to-door to try to complete the census."
Johnson asked Barriclow to provide more information about the census.
"I may be preaching to the choir," Barriclow said. "It's really important that we get this done. There are federal funds to the county depending on the number of people who live in the county and getting an accurate count."
Johnson chimed in.
"For our city, it can increase the funds we get from the state, as well, so we have more funds without a tax increase," Johnson said.
"The 5,000 resident threshold makes a big difference and we have not got that recently" Barriclow said.
Commissioner Martha Firnhaber said that there are more grants available if at least 5,000 people are counted.
Commissioner Mark Shanks made a point.
"We probably have 5,000 in Shelbyville," Shanks said. "But people don't participate in the census and it hurts us for the next 10 years."
In other business, the council voted to accept a bid for water well repairs from the low bidder, Cahoy Pump Service, for $38,160. It was voted unanimously.
A request to purchase a back-hoe for the water department, that was tabled last mont, was made. The purchase with trade-in would be from Birkey's for $33,546. That motion passed unanimously.
In unfinished business, Commissioner Shanks said roof repairs, already approved, are waiting to start due to the weather. He also said that City Attorney Jack Kiley has a report from the Senior Center, but Kiley was not present.
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