Reports of serious crime in Kingston dipped slightly last year, mirroring a broader trend in New York State and across the Hudson Valley.
According to year-end statistics compiled by the Kingston Police Department, reported “Part One” crimes — defined by the FBI as murder, negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft — dropped from 692 in 2010 to 673 last year. That’s an overall decline of 2.75 percent.
Most of the decline is attributed to a sharp drop in the number of reported burglaries from 142 in 2010 to 115 last year. The overall decrease came even as reported robberies rose slightly from 29 in 2010 to 34 in 2011 and aggravated assaults increased from 46 to 51 in the same period. There were eight verified incidents of gunplay in the city in 2011, with six people wounded by gunfire. The numbers also show that reported crimes spiked upward 12.6 percent in the winter and spring of 2011 before falling sharply over the summer and through the fall.
Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti said this week he attributed some of the decline in the second half of 2011 to increased patrols using overtime money from the state’s Operation IMPACT crime-fighting program and the deployment of the new Street Crimes Unit to carry out proactive policing operations in hotspots around the city.
“We made a big push in June with a lot of high-visibility patrols and directed patrols, we had the Street Crime Unit out there,” said Tinti. “I think the results speak for themselves, the numbers started going down.”
Valley getting safer
The declining crime rate in Kingston reflects a broader trend, according to statistics compiled by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. The agency coordinates the IMPACT program, which funnels grant money and promotes closer cooperation between law enforcement agencies in a number of Long Island and Upstate jurisdictions. Taken together, those jurisdictions account for 80 percent of the state’s serious crime outside of the five boroughs of New York City. According to state DCJS statistics, IMPACT communities collectively saw a decline of 5 percent over the first 11 months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010 (year-end statistics have not been compiled yet).