Mission police report 25 percent drop in crime reports during first nine months of 2014

Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley and patrol division commander Capt. Lane Kirk at the Mission update breakfast Friday morning.
Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley and patrol division commander Capt. Lane Kirk at the Mission update breakfast Friday morning.

The Mission city update breakfast, which has normally focused on development projects, broadened to other city departments this morning and Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley delivered some good news: crime in Mission is down 25 percent year-over-year in the city.

Hadley said the number reflected all types of crime reports in the first nine months of the year compared to the same time period last year. Alongside those numbers, Hadley reported that the number of traffic stops by Mission police increased from 6,530 in 2013 to 7,576 in the 2014 reporting period. Despite the increase, Hadley said, the number of tickets being written is down. About half of all the drivers who are stopped are given warnings, he said. The number of traffic tickets written in Mission has been a point of some controversy in the past.

Hadley also presented data that showed significant changes in certain categories of crime over the last 10 years. Cases related to drug activity doubled over the 10-year period when 2003 data is compared to 2013 and 2014. In 2003, 30 cases were reported compared to 73 and 62 in 2013 and 2014. He said approximately 70 people were arrested in prostitution sweeps that took place last year.

By the same measures, auto burglary, auto theft and home burglaries dropped substantially in the 10 years. The drop in auto theft mostly occurred in the difference between 2013 and 2014 comparisons. Auto burglaries numbered 92 in 2003 and had dropped to 29 and 20 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Hadley said auto theft numbers in the 1990s would run over 200 per year. When police notice cars left with valuable in plain view, they leave a note for the driver reminding the drivers of the theft risk, he said.

“We are trying to integrate the police department with the community,” Hadley said. The traffic stops and service calls (numbering 7,410 so far) help show criminals they shouldn’t be in Mission, he said.
While Mission is a safe community, he added, police had two disturbance calls this week in which a person was found to have a gun.

Hadley’s report received a long round of applause from the crowd as did Public Works Director John Belger’s report that the Johnson Drive project is nearing completion.