A welcome drop in crime rate

Published 9:10 am Friday, November 4, 2011

A sharp decline in Franklin’s crime rate is too significant to be coincidental.

The city’s Police Department deserves much credit for the encouraging trends, including:

• A 50 percent drop in robberies from 2010 to 2011.

• A 41 percent drop in burglaries from last year.

• Just one malicious-wounding case so far in 2011, compared to 19 during 2010.

• Forty-one shots-fired calls to date in 2011, fewer than half of the 101 received in 2009.

When violent crime was spiraling out of control in Franklin a couple of years ago, Chief Phil Hardison took his case to the City Council and the citizenry, pleading for a significant increase in the size of his uniformed force. Due largely to budget constraints, a big increase in manpower has not materialized.

To their credit, Hardison and his force did not sit back and make excuses.

They addressed the crime wave forcefully, stepping up patrols in problem areas and encouraging citizens to be additional eyes and ears for the police by reporting suspicious activity.

The numbers suggest strongly that the Police Department’s aggressive response has worked. If anything, crime rates should be going up due to the difficult economy and high unemployment. In Franklin, they are going down.

Hardison has caught much heat in recent years, some of it deserved. On balance, he’s done an admirable job in a tough situation and with limited resources.

By any interpretation of the latest statistics, Franklin is a safer place to live than it was a couple of years ago. We give police the lion’s share of the credit.