MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile police have released their annual crime report, while felony crime is down overall violent crimes are up in the city.
Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine says he’s very optimistic about the future of Mobile and credits the changes they’ve made already with a decrease in crime already in 2022.
While violent crime has increased in the city, all felony crimes are down.
“We look at it certainly is going to be the robbery cases, which might I add were about 40% down year to date compared to this time last year. That is a huge correlation with what we’re doing with hot spot policing and having the officers in the right place. Predictive policing or preventative,” said Prine.
One area specifically where Chief Paul Prine says has improved is with violent crimes in Precinct One. That area was known for violent crimes.
“We’ve made significant reductions in all of the part one crimes. Where we need to focus our efforts now is trying to backfill patrol in the second and fourth precincts which are west of the I-65 corridor. And we believe we’ll have the same effect there as well,” said Prine.
An area that has seen an increase from 2020 is the citizen complaints about police officers. There were 100 citizen complaints filed in 2021, up from 69 the year before. Of those complaints, 80% were found to be unfounded claims, or the officer’s actions were proper. In 19% of the claims, officers displayed improper conduct, which the chief says is unacceptable.
“I think there’s a good side to that that the public trusts us enough they can at least bring their issue to the police department and give us an opportunity to look into it,” said Prine.
Chief Prine took office in October but has increased patrols in hot spot areas for crimes, and he says what they’ve done so far appears to be working.
“About a month ago, we made a concerted effort to backfill patrol with new officers coming on. We believe that has certainly had an effect on hotspot policing and certainly the intelligence model and cyber capabilities that we have. We do think that it is helping, we are seeing the numbers trending down,” said Prine.
Prine says there is work to be done when it comes to violent crime.
“You can’t compare all of our crime to what’s happening solely with the homicide rate. Homicides are unique in that those are intentional crimes. Typically they’re either going to be through altercations that have not been settled or domestic cases,” said Prine.
He also adds there has been an increase in shooting into occupied/unoccupied homes and cars. The chief says they are difficult cases to investigate and prevent. But they are working to get those numbers down.
“You see all the time where we’re making the arrests in all of these crimes. But sometimes, the shooting into [occupied/unoccupied homes and cars], for example, will outpace the number of arrests. It certainly gets back into the repeat offenders, recidivous offenders, you’ve heard me say our victims today who don’t cooperate become our offenders tomorrow. Or just the opposite, sometimes our offenders today become our victims, unfortunately, tomorrow,” said Prine.
You can see the full annual report here.