Crime Rate Plummets in 2018 in Rutland Continuing 5 Year Trend

January 11, 2019

News release
For Immediate Release: January 11, 2019
Contact: Mayor Dave Allaire – (802) 236-0539
Police Chief Brian Kilcullen – (802) 773-1816

New Numbers Show Rutland Crime Plummets in 2018, Continuing Five-Year Trend

Mayor David Allaire Thanks Police and Community For Continuing Success

 RUTLAND, VT – Celebrating a communitywide effort involving police, social service agencies, businesses and hundreds of individuals focused on reducing crime and improving safety and quality of life in Rutland City, Mayor Dave Allaire today released data demonstrating continued sharp declines in crimes of all kinds.

“From crimes that affect quality of life, like noise disturbances, to burglaries and robberies, crime dropped dramatically in 2018,” Mayor Allaire said.  “After many years of declines, we continue to see marked improvement, with significant drops in many of the most serious crimes.”

Added Police Chief Brian Kilcullen: “Together, through improved community policing, expanded access to drug treatment and collaboration with social services, Project VISION, and a wide array of community development efforts, Rutland made extraordinary gains in 2018.  That success is a tribute to the people of this community, who have been tremendous partners in building relationships with police, rehabilitating housing and improving streetscapes, developing new art and cultural assets, and creating local pride.”

Key statistical crime improvements from 2017 to 2018 include:

  • A 32 percent decline in forced-entry burglaries, from 68 to 46;
  • A 60 percent decline in non-forced-entry burglaries, from 40 to 16;
  • A 17 percent decline in shoplifting, from 153 to 117;
  • A 36 percent decline in other larcenies, from 308 to 198;
  • And a 16 percent drop in aggravated assaults from 2017 to 2018.

These declines follow years of improvement in many areas. For example, there was a 34 percent drop in forced-entry burglaries in 2017 compared to the previous four-year average.  Shoplifting in 2017 declined 28 percent compared to the long-term average, while other thefts dropped 47 percent, and non-forced burglaries dropped 55 percent.  “It’s difficult to make a direct correlation, but these continuing declines appear to parallel the good work that has been done to address the opioid issues in the region,” Kilcullen said.  “Thefts, burglaries and the like tend to drop when people facing addiction have access to the help they need.”

Most other stats showed continued improvement as well.  Reports of suspicious activity dropped from a long-term average of 1,107 to 847 in 2018; Citizen disputes fell from an average of 465 to 395, while reports of family fights/domestic disputes fell from 456 to 377. Noise disturbances fell from an average of 239 to 175, while animal noise complaints dropped from 64 to 38.  Burglary alarms, juvenile problems, motor vehicle issues, DWI, vandalism, stray animals, parking issues and littering also dropped from the long-term averages.

“These are indications of improved quality of life,” Mayor Allaire said.  “I want to thank the community for its comprehensive efforts and the police department for its focus and determination.  We have to remain vigilant to hold onto the gains we have made, and continue to revitalize our community, but these statistics demonstrate enormous progress.”

Joe Kraus, chairman of  Project VISION, said the data- and collaboration-drive program was unique to Rutland.  “I take great pride in our police department and their incredible work, along with the literally hundreds of Project VISION participants who have contributed their time, energy and ideas to help make Rutland a better place,” Kraus said.