By Kuna Melba News Staff
Kuna police chief Kody Aldrich addressed the city council last Tuesday evening presenting the 2012 police report. According to the numbers, crime during 2012 in Kuna increased by 24 percent over 2011. Person crimes including murder, manslaughter, assault and intimidation grew by just over 9 percent. The category of society crimes wich includes drug, pornography, prostitution and weapons law violations grew by 25 percent. But the largest jump was in property crimes that grew by 35 percent.
While still above the Idaho average of 46 percent, the percent of crimes solved in Kuna decreased from 62 percent in 2011 to 56 percent in 2012.
In response to the decrease in solved cases Chief Aldrich said, “That is worst case scenario. There will be crimes that will be solved from years ago that will bump up those percentages. It can only go up from the percentages listed.”
Chief Aldrich explained that the rise in the crime statistics, especially property crimes, could be explained by only a few incidents of small crime sprees. For example, one person walking through a neighborhood stealing from or vandalizing cars could skew the numbers when you have a small population to begin with.
“Kuna is a great place to live, work & play, we definitely really need to work together and be proactive, locking stuff up, keeping our lights on at night and to make a report if something does not look right. We appreciate community feed back, it makes it easier to prevent crime,” said Police Chief Aldrich
According to past Kuna city police annual reports, crime in 2012 is still below average for the past eight years with 2005 and 2007 having a much higher crime rate per 1,000 residents.
On a more positive note, in addition to his findings Chief Aldrich noted the success of the Kuna Police Activity League, or KPAL, which is an after school mentoring and leadership program for youth. Participants learn discipline and respect through martial arts programs, and teamwork through sports like flag football. Aldrich also mentioned the increase of services of the School Resource Officers from two detectives to three. This will allow one SRO to be assigned each to the elementary schools, the middle school and the high schools.
Chief Aldrich also mentioned that they have decided on the Chevrolet Tahoe as their new police vehicle. The Crown Victoria, a favorite among many police departments across the country, was discontinued by Ford Motor Company. While it will still take a few years to fully transition, the department is pleased with the Tahoe’s excellent safety rating, good gas mileage and low maintenance costs.
Other 2012 highlights include increased enforcement of aggressive driving and DUI through grants from the Idaho Transportation Department and Office of Traffic Safety to reduce unsafe driving in the community. The Kuna police also expanded office hours and added a full time office manager to provide better public service.