PAOLA — The Paola Police Department has released its year-end statistics for 2020, and the total reported criminal offenses increased from 540 in 2019 to 585 in 2020, raising the crime rate by 8 percent.
Some of the larger increases include reports of criminal damage to property, which increased from 29 to 54; reports of aggravated assault/battery, which increased from eight to 14; other assaults, which increased from 53 to 76; and sex offenses, which increased from eight to 14.
Despite the overall increase in the amount of reported crimes, there also were several decreases in categories such as reported thefts, which decreased from 173 to 162, and reported burglaries, which decreased from 33 to 27. There also were no reported robberies in 2020 after two being reported in 2019, according to the statistics.
The overall clearance rate for the police department dropped from 75 percent in 2019 to 69 percent in 2020, but Capt. Eric Jenkins said that is still well above the national average. A case is considered cleared when criminal charges are filed, criminal charges are requested by police or a victim does not choose to press charges.
Jenkins said the police department continues to benefit from a healthy working relationship with the community.
“We are encouraged by the cooperation and support shown by the citizens to help us deliver the best services possible,” Jenkins said. “We are also fortunate to have a great team of hardworking employees, dedicated to protecting and preserving the Paola we all care for.”
The police department is reminding residents that it continues to offer multiple educational presentations upon request. Annually, officers conduct classes on general crime prevention, personal safety, active shooter response, crimes against the elderly and more, according to a news release from the police department.
Any representative of a business or organization who would like to host a class is encouraged to contact a police department staff member at (913) 259-3640.
The following is a specific breakdown of the Paola crime statistics comparing 2019 and 2020.
- Aggravated assault/battery: Up 75 percent (8 to 14)
- Other assaults: Up 43 percent (53 to 76)
- Criminal damage: Up 86 percent (29 to 54)
- Criminal trespass: Up 20 percent (15 to 18)
- Other sex offenses: Up 75 percent (8 to 14)
- Drug law violations: Up 8 percent (74 to 80)
- Resisting arrest: Up 15 percent (13 to 15)
- DUI: Up 17 percent (17 to 20)
- Other offenses: Up 150 percent (6 to 15)
- Rape: Up 20 percent (4 to 5)
- Robbery: Down 100 percent (2 to 0)
- Burglary: Down 18 percent (33 to 27)
- Theft: Down 6 percent (173 to 162)
- Forgery: Down 31 percent (39 to 27)
- Phone harassment: Down 67 percent (3 to 1)
- Assault/battery of a law enforcement officer: Down 33 percent (3 to 2)
- Criminal threat: Down 44 percent (9 to 5)
- Liquor law violations: Down 8 percent (13 to 12)
- Disorderly conduct: Down 36 percent (11 to 7)
- Child in need of care cases: Down 41 percent (17 to 10)
- Homicide: (0 to 0)
- Auto theft: (10 to 10)
- Arson: (0 to 0)