MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Crime has dropped for the seventh consecutive year in Middletown. Index crimes are down 13 percent over last year and 48 percent compared to 2010.
“It’s no accident Middletown’s crime rate continues to trend downward,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D. “Our officers work hard to maintain a strong, positive relationship with the community. Our crime rate continues to be one of the lowest in the nation thanks to their dedication to keeping the community safe.”
The Middletown Police Department reports there were 453 index crimes in 2016 which equates to an index crime rate of 6.81 per 1,000 people. In 2015 there were 522 index crimes with a rate of 7.85. In 2010 there were 873 index crimes and the rate was 13.23.
“Our goal is to keep Middletown as safe as possible. We have a very dedicated and professional force and I’m proud of the department and what we have been able to accomplish,” said Police Chief Craig Weber. “We also enjoy a very good relationship with the community which contributes to our success.”
Violent crimes – murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault – have decreased 63 percent from 42 in 2010 to 16 in 2016. Burglary has declined 59 percent from 151 in 2010 to 62 in 2016; larceny is down 45 percent from 656 in 2010 to 364 in 2016; auto theft declined by 57 percent from 23 in 2010 to 10 in 2016.
Chief Weber attributes the downward trend to a community oriented approach to policing coupled with proactive policing strategies that target crime. Community programs include bicycle patrols, child safety seat installations, police youth week camps, Project Plus, Rude Awakening, and the Law Enforcement Against Drugs program which utilizes The Too Good for Drugs curriculum in the township’s elementary schools. In addition, the department focuses resources on preventing and solving crimes, including a designated anti-crime unit to address and respond more quickly to illegal activity.
The department also makes training a priority. This year the agency has been recognized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for being one of only 36 agencies nationwide to complete the Missing Kids Readiness Project. NCMEC developed the program to promote best practices for responding to calls of missing, abducted and sexually exploited children. The distinction comes on the heels of Middletown being named one of the five safest places in America to raise a child last year.