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Homicides, Thefts Down, Burglaries Up in 2012, According to Report

Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono noted crime has dropped in the last year in several key categories during a presentation Tuesday night.

"We're moving in the right direction."

That was the key piece of information Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono stressed Tuesday night as he presented his department's 2012 annual report, which includes a breakdown and explanation of the department structure and crime statistics covering several years.

According to Chief Bono, crime has dropped in the following key categories:

  • Homicides are down 20 percent
  • Rapes are down 17 percent
  • Robberies are down 12 percent
  • Assaults are down 14 percent
  • Thefts are down 4.5 percent
  • Motor vehicle thefts are down 16 percent

Chief Bono noted that, unfortunately, arsons increased by 120 percent last year while burglaries were on the rise by 18 percent.

The report also details that clearance rates (the number of crimes solved) for Norristown are better than state averages in most categories.

Chief Bono pointed out that these numbers belie Norristown's reputation as a "Wild, Wild West town."

"I think if you look at the numbers, if you look at the last five years, that perception is not reality," Bono said. "We have our problems. I'm not going to stand up her today and paint a perfectly rosy picture for anyone. It would be disingenuous if I did. But we are moving in the right direction."

Chief Bono suggested that one way to improve these numbers further would be to hire more officers.

"More manpower is certainly one of my goals," he said. "It always has been. I think with an increase in officers, we could continue to put a dent in [these numbers.]" 

Norristown residents, the chief suggested, should feel more positive about their community. He noted that Norristown is a large community of mostly hard working, middle-class, law-abiding citizens.

"I would venture to say that less than a hundred of those people are causing the majority of these crimes," said Chief Bono. "We know who [most of] these people are we're making every lawful attempt we can to pressure them to change their criminal ways. These are the people who are giving Norristown its bad reputation."

"We have to identify these hundred people," he continued "And we have to stay on them. We have to either get them to change their ways, lock them up or run them out of town. That's what it's going to take."

Chief Bono noted at the beginning of his presentation that the progress made by his department in these areas was made through the hard work of the men and women who serve and protect everyday. He ended the night on a similarly positive note.

"I think you can be proud of your police department," he said. "And I think you should be proud of your town."

Download the Norristown Police Department's full 2012 Annual Report in our PDF section.

John Kolb February 21, 2013 at 03:22 PM
While a 20% drop in Homicides "sounds" and "looks" great on paper, in reality that drop amounts to 1 single homicide. Not enough of a drop (5 to 4) to be patting ourselves on the back about. If the drop went from 5 to 0, then great, good job Chief, but otherwise the crime(s) committed in Norristown have increased if you go by the number of times gun shots are now heard. These statistics seem to be easily manipulated to represent whatever you need them to show.
gerhard sweetman February 21, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Home inspection/invasion landlord fees, parking fees, 1mil, 1.5mil ? Run out of town fees, pain in ass fees?
Sally19401 February 21, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Norristown is not the only one with these fees. In fact, I would say we are cheap when it comes to what landlords are charged.It is a good way for the borough to know who is renting and responsible for different properties. As to inspections, these are required for rentals for people on public assistance. Otherwise, you can imagine the low standards that would be kept. I'm sure there are situations of that anyway!
gerhard sweetman February 21, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Bill of rights 4th admend cannot be scraped. Your bias/hate? Hitler was jews, you poor, gay?, public assistance?, low life/standards to keep? Home owners are next, check your morgage paperwork!! Home is your castle is universal. Your standards are what we are protected from, by the US supreme ct & UN Universal human rights
Mohandus Frieri February 22, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Good to know all's well in Norristown. Retire in peace!

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