Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Serious crime down in Greenburgh; police chief says it's the lowest in 25 years
Gerald McKinstry • The Journal News • January 30, 2008
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GREENBURGH - Serious crime in town dropped nearly 12 percent last year to a 25-year low while other lesser infractions rose.
Police Chief John Kapica said the numbers were the "best they've ever been" during his tenure. He credited "active crime prevention" efforts and aggressively pursuing less serious crimes as reasons for the decline.
"We're treating minor crime more seriously," Kapica said this week, citing vandalism as one example. "I really believe a lot of what we're doing with community policing is working. We put a lot of resources into youth programs. I think they're paying off."
There were 795 serious crimes reported in 2007, a drop of 108 since the year before, according to figures recently released by the Police Department.
Serious crime is defined by the Department of Justice as aggravated assault, burglary, homicide, larceny, motor vehicle theft, robbery and rape.
Last year, there were 903 serious offenses compared with 1,029 in 2004 and 1,108 in 2003, according to police figures.
Larceny was down significantly, as was vehicle theft, felony assault, robbery and burglary, according to the department's statistics. Homicides remained the same at one, and rapes doubled to two.
Greenburgh's overall decline mirrors other communities, including White Plains, which recently reported that serious crimes hit a 42-year low.
Greenburgh, the largest town in Westchester County and the county's fifth-largest municipality, calculates crime differently than other departments in New York that use the Uniform Crime Reporting System. The town individually counts all crime, even if more than one is committed in a given incident; most departments only list serious crime.
Arrests were up 11.8 percent to 1,376, with most of those - 1,013 - classified as misdemeanors such as assault, driving while intoxicated, drug possession and criminal mischief.
Kapica said some of those increases, particularly driving while intoxicated, drug-related offenses and prostitution, occurred because police were more aggressive with stings, task forces and investigations.
Among the largest spikes in less-serious crime was fraud and forgery, up more than 69 percent to 166 reported incidents. Kapica said that trend would likely continue, with identity theft increasing.
Police responded to 36,824 calls for service and gave out 5,893 tickets, slight increases from last year. The department has 122 members, he said.
Supervisor Paul Feiner commended the Police Department and its community policing efforts. Feiner said he was pleased with the numbers, albeit somewhat cautious, given that crime can be cyclical and affected by many other factors such as the economy.
"Every year you think it's the lowest and then it gets lower," Feiner said. "We always give the police most of the resources they request and the tools, staff and equipment. They're constantly upgrading and improving. So far, it's worked."


ed krauss said...

There is always "Cause & Effect." Is it possible that the extraordinarily high taxes in the Town of Greenburgh, leave the residents with nothing left to steal? The same must apply to mugging. Violent crimes can also be down in the Town because people are now "chained" to their homes/apartments because they can no longer afford to go out.

Maybe we should root for a higher crime rate which could be a portent of more money to steal, ipso facto, lower taxes.

Chief Kapica can't seem to win.

Anonymous said...

Paul - Stop claiming credit for a secular trend UNLESS you are equally willing to accept responsibility when the crime rate goes up (as ulimately it will).

Paul Feiner said...

I'm not claiming credit --however, I am pleased that serious crime has been going down annually.

Anonymous said...

The poice dept. needs an overhaul. I do not believe this article.

Anonymous said...

We are all glad crime is down. But I am not certain that "crime prevention" and actively pursuing low level crime is what resulted in less serious crimes. I leave it for the PhDs in sociology and criminology to work that out.

However, even if actively pursuing low level crime has resulted in less serious crimes (as opposed to just keeping policmen busy), I dont understand why overtime is increasing and is close to 1Million, instead of decreasing. It would seem to me that these low level crime efforts should not have as much OT.

I think the Budget committe should look at

1. What is the PD policy on overtime? Under what circumstances can it be worked and paid for? Do we want it for low level crimes.

2. Who approves.

3. Who monitors that no OT other than via policy is being incurred?

Lets remember, OT also bumps up pension expense.

Also, can someone more familiar with the budget than I am explain what that new 300K contract under police in the A budget is?

We keep hearing a lot of talk re the library. We all appreciate the police, but lets not forget, theirs is the biggest budget. If they are running up excessive OT, which I suspect they are, what other excessive expensives do the PD have.

Every time the council or Paul try to cut the PD budget, Kapica keeps saying it could be human lives as stake. Well, we could spend as much as WP (which clearly spends more) and that doesnt mean there wont be deaths. so lets be realistic and get a handle on the budget.

Anonymous said...

The Police officers receive overtime for sending officers on special details. Tech rescue team,
installing car seats, etc. having to many police officers working inside the bldg. instead of on the street.

Anonymous said...

Geee, 11:50 sounds like you know how GPD operates.

I guess I would add to the list of questions at 1:27, isnt there anyone available who town is paying for that could do this work??