News and Tribune

December 24, 2013

Crime down slightly this year, says New Albany police department

No murders in the city in 2013 after four reported in 2012

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Monthly reports showed no increase or a slight drop in crime this year, New Albany Police Department officials said on Monday.

Providing the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety with an annual update, police officers said that while the exact percentages hadn’t been calculated yet, monthly Uniform Crime Reporting Program results have yielded some positive signs.

“It’s not something we’re boasting about, but we’re glad there’s no increase,” NAPD Maj. Keith Whitlow said.

After four murders in 2012, there were no homicides charged in New Albany this year. A grand jury earlier this year determined the deaths of Jaime Clutter and her two children at Binford Park in March were the result of an accident.

The numbers haven’t been finalized for this year, but according to FBI statistics there were 25 rapes, 38 robberies and 497 aggravated assaults reported in New Albany in 2012.

As for enforcement, NAPD Lt. Col. Gregory Pennell pointed to a November  drug roundup that resulted in 28 arrests in less than 48 hours as one of the major achievements of the department this year.

From an administrative standpoint, the department rolled out motorcycles onto the street for the first time in 40 years. The department is utilizing two motorcycles for patrol, and the NAPD fleet could be bolstered by the addition of 15 new squad cars next year.

The New Albany Police Department has already approved on initial readings purchasing the cars through a $450,000 appropriation. The final ballot on the expenditure is expected to be taken next month.

Pennell said the department is also expected to finish 2013 within its budget.

Installation of sirens delayed

They were supposed to be installed on Dec. 3, but New Albany is still waiting on two sirens to be placed at Bicknell Park and on the Spring Street fire station.

The council appropriated about $45,000 in May for the sirens, but Floyd County Emergency Management Agency Director Terry Herthel said Monday the company Federal Siren has had to delay the installation.

The city has already received the sirens but there’s been difficulty finalizing a time with Federal Siren to have them installed, Herthel said.

“There’s just been a lot of miscommunication,” he told the board of works.

Herthel said the new date for installation will be Jan. 6, and that he’s confident officials will be able to ensure Federal Siren completes the project.

The other sirens in the county were also purchased from Federal Siren.

The new installations will give Floyd County 18 severe weather sirens. The first sirens were installed in 2000.