Superior's crime rate falls for fourth year
Superior's police chief is optimistic about a trend he's seeing: For the fourth straight year, the city's overall crime rate fell in 2009. While aggravated assaults and forcible rape notched upward by a few incidents in 2009, the city experienced...
Superior's police chief is optimistic about a trend he's seeing: For the fourth straight year, the city's overall crime rate fell in 2009.
While aggravated assaults and forcible rape notched upward by a few incidents in 2009, the city experienced fewer robberies, burglaries, thefts and arson cases. Murder hasn't been a factor in the city's uniform crime reporting since 2006, when 27-year-old Leah Gustafson was killed in her home by a neighbor with a history of violence.
The number of aggravated assaults and forcible rapes in 2009 still was well below those experienced in the city a decade ago.
"In a community our size, just a few crimes in a different category and you can say your crime increased," Peters said. He said while he likes to report things are improving -- and they are -- the trend is more important.
"We are so pleased that our community, Superior, Wisconsin, in the year 2010 is a community that cares about improving," Peters said.
Peters attributes the continued overall drop in the crime rate to a variety of factors, including citizen and neighborhood involvement, and business and civic groups working with professional, well-trained officers to curb crime.
Mayor Dave Ross said credit goes back to the days when former chief Doyle Barker promoted young officers, including Peters, to positions of leadership.
Now in his ninth year as the city's chief, Peters' focus remains on preventing and reducing crime and solving problems rather than reacting when crime happens.
"We have well-educated and trained officers, probably the best in the history of the department," Peters said. "We do have some advance technologies; we do have some enhanced crime analysis capabilities. We think from a management standpoint, we are better at deploying resources. And this is a big one -- addressing minor crimes and repeat offenders."
The department has developed a variety of enforcement and crime-
prevention programs to address specific problems such as nuisance properties that disturb the peace in city neighborhoods. He also cited targeted efforts to reduce domestic abuse and hold perpetrators accountable, and addressing Internet crimes against children and other crimes using technology.
Those efforts are expanding this year as the Superior Police Department takes the lead in a regional task force that includes Duluth police, and sheriff's departments in St. Louis and Douglas counties.
"No one is telling us to do these things," Peters said. "This is the ingenuity of our officers, our staff, our managers, myself saying 'how can we better serve the community' and that whole issue of reducing and preventing crime. Now we've been working at this for a while. Some have paid off, some have flopped, but we're still swinging."