Crime reports in McPherson were up almost 13 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a report compiled by McPherson Police Chief Rob McClarty.

Crime reports in McPherson were up almost 13 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a report compiled by McPherson Police Chief Rob McClarty.
In 2013, the department took 4,474 reports on both misdemeanor and felony cases. In 2012, the department took 3,962 reports, and in 2011, the department took 3,973 reports.
McClarty said the increase in reports was due to both increased enforcement and the department being called to respond to more crimes.
“I think our crime per capita is much than less several communities surrounding us,” McClarty said. “I think overall we are a fairly safe community, but I think we can always be safer.”
The department has seen the greatest increase in the number of burglaries in the city — 179 in 2013. McClarty said the increase could be attributed to a number of reasons, including difficulties in the economy. Police officials believe the suspects are coming from the area and from larger metropolitan areas around McPherson.
McClarty recently spoke to the city commission about his concerns about the increase in burglaries in the city.
He asked residents to secure their property by locking their homes and their vehicles. He urged residents to not leave valuable items in plain view in vehicles. He also suggested residents leave lights on at night.
He also asked residents to keep an eye out for their neighbors and report anything suspicious to police.
“It takes a community willing to talk to law enforcement to solve crime,” he said. “We need people to report the crimes. If they see something that doesn’t look right, call 911 or police administration, and we will get someone to help and address the issue.”
Residents also can better secure their homes by keeping brush and other debris clear from doors and windows where a burglar might try to enter the home.
The police department has increased patrols, especially in areas where there have been concentrations of burglaries. It also has stepped up business checks.
Officers also issued more traffic citation in 2013 — 1,768. This is up from 2012’s total of 1,349 citations. In 2011, 1,169 citations were written.
McClarty said the department has tried to increase traffic enforcement as well, especially in construction zones. He said the citations were meant to get drivers to slow down in construction areas where they might hit construction workers or pedestrians trying to cross near the high school.
In 2013, the city impounded 188 animals as opposed to 199 in 2012. The animal control officer wrote 55 citations in 2013 as opposed to 36 in 2012. In 2013, 47 animals were adopted, whereas in 2012, 68 animals were adopted.
McClarty said the department’s new animal control officer is trying to be more proactive in getting animals returned to their owners. He said this has been aided by the use of microchips by pet owners. The animal control officer also is becoming more acquainted with the owners of certain dogs in the community, McClarty said.
After a community member’s dog was mauled and killed by a loose dog in 2013, concerns were expressed about the city’s animal control enforcement.
The city’s ordinance and fine system was altered.
McClarty said animal control is trying to enforce the new fine structure and write citations for animals that are repeatedly reported loose.
The number of VIN inspections the department did decreased slightly from 1,395 inspections in 2012 to 1,293 inspections in 2013.