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Township Crime Rate Remains Steady Amid Decrease In Violent Crimes In 2020


The number of violent crimes reported in Franklin during 2020 decreased compared to the previous year, but the township saw an increase in the number of reported non-violent crimes.

The increase was enough to kick the total number of reported crimes up a bit, from 855 in 2019 to 859 in2020, according to statistics provided by the township police department.

The township’s violent crime rate held steady from year-to-year at 10.4 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2020, slightly up from 2019’s rate of 10.3 crimes per 1,000 residents.

That’s according to statistics compiled by the New Jersey State Police – which tracks certain crimes in state towns – via the township PD. The NJSP calculates the crime rate using statistics from seven “crime index” categories of crime: Murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft, according to the NJSP.

Crime rate statistics in the township police department’s annual report for 2020, provided by Public Safety Director Quovella Spruill during the Township Council’s May 11 meeting, also included the number of simple assaults reported in the township, a category that is not included in the State Police “crime index.”

In 2020, there were 46 reported violent crimes: three murders, three rapes, 17 robberies, 19 assaults with weapons and four assaults with physical force, according to the FTPD statistics.

There were also 165 reported simple assaults, defined as causing bodily injury to another person, or threatening to cause bodily injury to another person.

In 2019, there were 58 reported violent crimes: four murders, 10 rapes, 18 robberies, 22 assaults with weapons and four assaults with physical force.

There were 172 simple assaults reported in 2019, according to the FTPD statistics.

The non-violent crime category includes burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

In 2020, there were 648 incidents of non-violent crime: 64 burglaries, 537 larceny/thefts, 47 motor vehicle thefts and no arsons.

In 2019, there were 625 incidents of non-violent crime: 76 burglaries, 517 larceny/thefts, 32 motor vehicle thefts and no arsons.

The FTPD’s annual report looked at other topics, including diversity within the department, internal affairs investigations, comp and overtime, and activity within the traffic safety bureau.

According to the report:

  • 13 percent of the police force is female, up 3 percent from 2019
  • 23 percent of police officers are Black, up 9 percent from 2019. Asians comprise 4 percent, 15 percent is Hispanic, and 73 percent of the force is White.
  • There were 86,972 total calls in 2020, up from 73,746 in 2019.
  • A total of 4,088 summonses were issued by patrols
  • Motor vehicle stops decreased by 22 percent from 4,891 in 2019 to 4,001 in 2020. Spruill attributed that to fewer cars being on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2019, 63 percent of cases were closed out, in 2020, 81 percent of cases were closed out. Spruill said this was due to Franklin officers collaborating with each other and with police departments in other municipalities.
  • 1,773 firearms applications were received in 2020, with 1,363 of them processed and 969 approved.
  • Comp time was down 55 percent from 2019 to 2020, and overtime was down 35 percent in that time frame.

The department’s goals for 2021 include reduce motor vehicle crashes, respond to speeding incidents, start the body cam program, partner with the new Louis Street youth center, increase transparency and reduce the time it takes to process firearms permits.

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