The Anne Arundel County Police Department reported an 8.7 percent drop in major crime in 2011, and a decrease in cases of violence, according to new statistics.
The police department reported 15,932 “part I” crimes during the year, representing 1,515 fewer cases than in 2010. Part I crimes are generally considered the most serious offenses.
Crime dropped in nearly all categories, with the most significant declines coming in cases of rape, motor vehicle theft and burglary.
The only increase came in the number of homicides, which rose from 13 to 14.
Total violent crime dropped 7.7 percent, representing 2,486 incidents, down from 2,693 in 2010.
The drop in violent crime in 2011 marks a reversal from the previous year, when such cases rose largely due to a 5 percent jump in aggravated assaults.
In 2011, aggravated assault cases dropped from 2,004 to 1,863, or 7 percent.
The decline in crime comes despite recent calls from police supervisor unions for Chief James Teare Sr. to resign.
Sergeants and lieutenants have for his alleged role in . Among the allegations Leopold faces are that he used police in campaign activities and personal matters.
Police have also blamed Teare for difficulties with a new dispatch and reporting system, and have blasted Leopold for department budget cuts, arguing that officers are now stretched too thin in many areas.
The police department said in a press release that declines in crime have come with the help of the Crime Analysis Unit, which uses technology to identify crime trends. The department said it will have a new emphasis on its Repeat Offenders Proactive Enforcement (R.O.P.E.) program, which focuses on those people who commit a disproportionate amount of crime.
“I truly appreciate the hard work and dedication demonstrated by our sworn members, communication personal, and our professional support staff. I would like to extend my grateful appreciation for their professionalism and dedication to public safety,” Teare said in a press release. “We will continue our cooperative crime fighting efforts with our federal, state, and local partners, and work along with the citizens we serve."