Crime in Chambersburg is at a 20-year low, according to a new transparency report just released by Chambersburg Police Department.
While police actions and lack of transparency make headlines in many areas, Chambersburg Chief Ron Camacho is all about transparency and engaging the public.
“We try to engage with the public and build trust every day,” he said. “Building public trust is very important to us.”
The department recently released its annual crime report for 2021 showing a drop in crime but detailing much more, including reports on citizen complaints and incidents where officers used force to subdue suspects.
Franklin County Free Press examines the report in detail in this three-part series. This first part deals with 2021’s crime statistics, giving a broad overview of the types of crimes CPD dealt with in 2021 and how many were solved. It also addresses the overall workload of the department’s 34 fulltime officers and 3 administrative personnel.
Calls, arrests and traffic stops
Chambersburg police answered 12,004 calls in 2021 and made 121 felony and 282 misdemeanor arrests. Eighty-seven individuals were arrested for driving under the influence. Officers made 1,219 traffic stops, resulting in 335 arrests and citations. They wrote 333 parking tickets and participated in 60 special traffic details.
Overall, crime reports dropped over 2020’s reports, but the more serious crimes, listed in the report as Part 1 crimes, rose by 1%. Part 2 offenses dropped by 13% over the same crimes reported in 2020. Crime in the Borough is currently at 20-year lows when comparing crime statistics to 1999’s high of around reported 2,400 crimes to 2020’s 1,388 crimes and last year’s 1,232 crimes.
Part 1 crimes in 2021
Part 1 crimes are the major crimes, such as murder, rape, robbery, arson and aggravated assault.
In 2021, Chambersburg had no murders. Other crimes increased 1% over similar crimes reported in 2020.
Police investigated three rapes and solved all of them. They investigated 7 robberies, solving 43% of them. Officers investigated 31 aggravated assaults, solving 74% of them, and 49 burglaries, solving 39% of those.
They investigated 348 thefts, solving 35%; 15 vehicle thefts, solving 73%, and 5 arsons, solving all of those.
Part 2 crimes in 2021
Part 2 crimes are not as serious as crimes like murder, assault and arson, but usually make up the bulk of investigated crime. These crimes include fraud, forgery, vandalism, drug and liquor violations and a variety of lesser crimes against society. Often they are misdemeanors.
Chambersburg police investigated 774 of those last year, down 13% from 2020.
Those number include:
- 16 forgeries, 44% cleared;
- 37 fraud cases, 35% cleared;
- 7 receiving stolen property cases, 100% cleared;
- 147 vandalism reports, 39% cleared;
- 9 weapons offenses, 100% cleared;
- 27 sex offenses, 63% cleared;
- 39 drug violations, 79% cleared;
- 4 family offenses, 100% cleared;
- 91 DUIs, 98% cleared;
- 61 public drunkenness cases, 100% cleared;
- 72 disorderly conduct, 78% cleared;
- 3 vagrancy cases, 100% cleared;
- 90 other offenses, 83% cleared;
- 15 curfew violations, 100% cleared’
- 46 runaway reports, 100% cleared;
- 152 other assaults, 93% cleared.
Camacho said his officers are well-trained and dedicated to serving the public.
“The officers of Chambersburg Police Department are incredibly dedicated,” he said. “I’m very proud of them.”
[Part 1 of three-part series]
Next: Transparency and police use of force
Part 3: Community policing