County crime statistics show no significant increases, decreases

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2011

A recent state report shows crime rates are holding steady in Covington County.

That figure, which was derived from information submitted voluntarily by law enforcement agencies throughout Alabama, includes uniform crime report numbers from the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, the 22nd Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force and all local police departments.

It is determined annually by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center and outlines crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny (theft) and motor vehicle thefts.

In 2010, local law enforcement recorded 984 crimes, which is a slight increase from 929 in 2009.

Each area reported a decrease, with the exception of burglaries, thefts and motor vehicle thefts.

Only one homicide was reported in 2010 – the shooting death of 4-year-old Curtis Lee Ruede in Opp that July. That number is down from the six reported in 2009.

Overall, the CCSO reported an increase in the areas of rapes, assaults, burglaries and thefts – which according to Sheriff’s Dennis Meeks, is not surprising.

“Our numbers are right where I expected them to be, considering the state of the economy and a large portion of individuals stealing to support their drug habit,” Meeks said. “You really can’t control crime. All you can do is work to solve it.”

In Andalusia, there was a slight increase in its overall crime reported from 417 crimes in 2009 to 444 in 2010.

APD Chief Wilbur Williams said the increase came in the form of assaults, burglaries, thefts and vehicle thefts.

“On the whole, I feel the situation is relatively good,” Williams said. “Things are going to happen, but one of the most important things we do is work to solve it when it does happen.”