Village anticipates rise in crime over next four years
Wesley Chapel expects to see a rise in nonviolent crime over the next four years. That was part of the information provided to the village council Tuesday, March 22 during a presentation from the municipality’s safety committee.
Safety committee member Chauncey Bowers presented the findings of a report the committee put together outlining crime statistics in Wesley Chapel in 2010. The Union County Sheriff office, the Union County Dispatch Center and the Office of State Budget and Management for North Carolina provided the statistics.
The report found Wesley Chapel leading Weddington and Marvin in police calls per 100 people and projected an expected rise in nonviolent crime over the next four years. During 2010 Wesley Chapel averaged 44.98 calls per 100 people, while Weddington averaged 21.95 and Marvin 19.29 in 2010.
“I don’t know why the calls per 100 residents is higher in Wesley Chapel,” Bowers said.
The council is trying to determine whether Wesley Chapel needs to invest in a contracted deputy or some other law enforcement measures. Both Weddington and Marvin have contracted deputies.
The report indicated misdemeanor larceny was the top crime in Wesley Chapel during 2010. Of the 84 incident reports filed in the village last year, 38 percent were for misdemeanor larceny.
Response time by the sheriff’s office to calls reporting a crime was a major concern of the council. According to the report, it took on average 8:54 minutes for the deputies to respond to incidents.
Councilman Todd Hess wondered if a contract deputy would improve the response time to citizens’ calls.
“I think you would probably see an improvement in response times,” Bowers said.
Bowers explained that if Wesley Chapel had a deputy responsible for the village, that in his opinion there would be a decrease in response time.
Councilman Howard Brotton Jr. echoed that sentiment and expressed his belief the council should focus less on response time and more on the impact a contracted deputy would have.
“I know response times is always a big one, however I think if someone is geographically located in the area not only will response times be reduced, but you may also see a reduction in calls reporting crimes,” he said.
Tessie Morris, safety committee chairman, summarized the committee’s finds and signaled its support for contracted deputy.
“With growth comes crime and with crime comes problems, we feel the contract deputy should not be taken off the table and a strong consideration that the funds should be allocated,” Morris said.
The council requested more in depth crime statistics comparing the two municipalities with contract deputies, Weddington and Marvin, with Wesley Chapel before proceeding further. No timetable was given for when that information will be presented.