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Statistically speaking, Madison was a slightly safer city in 2009: 4.4 % safer according to Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data just released by the Madison Police Department (MPD). There were 8,740 UCR offenses in 2009; compared with 9,147 UCR offenses in 2008.

Every year communities across America supply UCR numbers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The UCR Program was conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet a need for reliable, uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics.

When the FBI posts numbers for the nation, it will show all Madison crime categories down, save for Larceny, which is another word for theft.

Here are the 2009 numbers compared with those from 2008:

• Murder: 4 in 2009, 10 in 2008
• Forcible Rape: 31 in 2009, 50 in 2008
• Aggravated Assault: 457 in 2009, 463 in 2008
• Robbery: 364 in 2009, 368 in 2008
• Burglaries: 1523 in 2009, 2038 in 2008
• Stolen Autos/Trucks/Motorcycles: 346 in 2009, 498 in 2008
• Theft: 6015 in 2009, 5720 in 2008
• Simple Assault: 1278 in 2009, 1360 in 2008

Chief Noble Wray believes additional officers on the streets this year, coupled with better crime analysis, and data-driven deployments have all had a positive impact on crime numbers. However, they are but one barometer on where Madison stands as far as public safety, and despite statistically looking relatively good areas of concern remain.

One is the rising number of thefts, many of which have to do with thefts from vehicles. It is a citywide problem, and one that Central District Capt. Mary Schauf discussed in some detail in her December newsletter:

Decreasing theft numbers is one current area of focus for officers.

The MPD remains committed to working with all of its community partners; finding new strategies and initiatives that will make neighborhoods stronger and safer in 2010.


  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897