Crime is up in Kaufman.
“These figures tell us that growth is coming to our city, and together with the help of our citizens we can reduce crime in our city,” Police Chief Dana Whitaker said.
The city recorded 230 major crimes in 2017, up by 15 percent from 200 in 2016.
“The Kaufman Walmart store continues to drive our theft offenses in the city with a total of 100 thefts being reported this year compared to 38 in 2016,” Whitaker said.
He said the staff at the store is doing a good job in policing thefts.
His officers respond to incidents at the store almost daily.
And Kaufman is not alone. According to Whitaker, traveling groups target Walmart stores, especially in cities where they will be issued tickets rather than taken to jail.
“The word gets out,” he said.
Being able to place them in jail deters them from coming back, Whitaker said. He noted most of the perpetrators are from outside the community.
One thing that impacts the department’s ability to jail certain suspects is a restriction by the county jail for housing persons charged with Class C misdemeanors. Those have been restricted at various times to help manage the jail population.
In the major crime categories, murders dropped from two to zero.
Rapes increased from 10 to 13, robberies rose from two to six and aggravated assaults increased from nine to 20.
Burglaries dropped from 38 to 23 while thefts rose from 128 to 155 and auto thefts increased from 10 to 21.
The department had 7,469 calls for service compared to 8,039 the previous year. It worked 314 traffic crashes, an increase of eight.
Arrests numbered 781 compared to 950 in 2016. Some 6,933 traffic citations were issued, which was up by 1,088.
Investigators filed 760 cases with the district attorney compared to 576 in 2016.
Whitaker’s report showed a 10-year comparison. Crime dropped annually from 398 major cases in 2007 to 134 in 2012. It was 139 in 2013, but in 2014 rose to 191, coinciding with the opening of Walmart. It went to 209 in 2015.
The animal control division answered 223 calls and 59 follow ups, resulting in 181 animals captured.
Whitaker also presented the state racial profiling report.
“We do not permit it,” he said, and there were no complaints filed against the department for profiling.
The report breaks down 1,052 traffic stops by ethnicity, whether the race was known prior to the stop and whether a search was conducted.
The stops included 584 Caucasians, 339 Hispanics, 117 African-Americans, six Middle Easterners, four Asians and one Native American.