TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There were fewer crimes reported in Tyler last year, according to the Tyler Police Department’s 2018 Crime Statistics Report.
The department released the report on Wednesday. It shows a 4.42 percent drop in overall reported Part 1 crimes, which are broken into two categories: violent crimes and property crimes. Part 1 crimes include homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and vehicle theft.
When broken into their two categories, the city saw a 1.41 percent drop in reported violent crimes and a 4.85 percent drop in reported property crimes.
There were nine homicides in Tyler in 2018, compared to 11 the previous year. The number of aggravated assaults reported decreased year-to-year as well, from 336 to 279.
Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler said 2018 was a difficult year because there were a few cases the department had to spend a lot of time on.
“We dealt with the nurse investigation and we dealt with the shootings that occurred in December, but you know overall we’re seeing a 2.5 percent reduction in reported crimes on Part 1 and Part 2 as we go out there every day working trying to make Tyler a safer place,” Toler said. “But certain areas that anytime there’s reported crime there’s areas we can work on, there’s things we can do better. But I’m happy with the results we saw this year.”
Toler’s reference to the nurse investigation is in regard to the arrest of William Davis, a former nurse at the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital.
Davis was arrested after allegations were brought that he caused the death of several patients by introducing air into their arterial systems, according to the Smith County District Attorney’s Office. The homicides connected to the charges against Davis are being reported in the 2017 crime report to reflect the year in which they happened, Toler said.
Smith County Jail records show Davis is still being held on bonds totaling $5 million.
There were more sexual assaults reported last year. According to the report, 105 sex assaults were reported in 2018 compared to 78 in 2017.
Toler said historically sexual assault has been greatly under reported. He believes outreach programs which raise awareness about appropriate and inappropriate behavior are part of the reason more sexual assaults are being reported.
“We’re going through a cycle in our cultural and our political lives where there’s a lot more resources dedicated towards sexual assault. Whether you see the crisis center, whether you see the children’s advocacy center. The need for their services continues to go up,” Toler said. “I think we’re seeing as part of the movements in America where people are more likely to report a sexual assault and also the resources we have available now to investigate them.”
Those additional resources include another investigator added to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County, Toler added.
There were also more robberies reported in 2018, with 95 reported in 2018 compared to 70 the previous year.
Tyler has seen a consistent drop in reported burglaries and thefts during the past three years.
The numbers also show a 1.10 percent drop in overall reported Part 2 Crimes, which include the offenses of simple assault, forgery, fraud, embezzlement, prostitution, sex offenses that are not rape, drug violations, DUI, liquor law violations, weapon law violations and disorderly conduct.
“I think it’s probably the same every year. People are going to report when they believe there’s a known suspect there’s something that can be done about a crime. there’s always those few burglaries that’ll happen where nothing was stolen out of a car and somebody chooses not to report, but that’s year over year that we see those,” Toler said.
The number of Part 1 and Part 2 crimes reported in 2018 add up to a 2.55 percent drop in overall reported crimes.
“I think trust and faith in the police goes along way and knowing that we’ll do the best job that we can,” Toler said.