In Evanston, the number of crimes tracked in the crime index is down 21 percent for the first seven months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, according to data provided by the Evanston Police Department.


Violent crimes decreased from 173 in the first seven months in 2008 to 116 in the same period in 2009, a 33 percent decrease. Property crimes decreased from 1,605 in the first seven months in 2008 to 1,278 in the same period in 2009, a 20 percent decrease.


The crime index is the total number of reported crimes in eight categories selected and defined by the Illinois State Police: murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and battery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. The data below show the number of reported crimes in each of these categories for the first seven months of 2008 and 2009:


  • Murder: 2 (2008), 0 (2009);
  • Criminal Sexual Assault: 3 (2008); 2 (2009);
  • Robbery: 77 (2008), 41 (2009);
  • Aggravated Assault & Battery: 91 (2008), 73 (2009);
  • Burglary: 369 (2008), 271 (2009);
  • Theft: 1,164 (2008), 954 (2009);
  • Motor Vehicle Theft: 67 (2008), 50 (2009);
  • Arson: 5 (2008), 3 (2009).


“A contributing factor extremely integral to the success of addressing crime and quality of life issues has been the Evanston Police Department’s desire to actively establish symbiotic partnerships with some 27 community groups throughout Evanston,” said Commander Tom Guenther, public information officer of the Evanston Police Department, in a prepared statement. “Through these community ties information is exchanged, neighborhood events are held and the police community relationship is strengthened.”


Cmdr. Guenther said another factor in reducing crime is the police department’s ability to gather crime data, analyze trends and allocate police resources to expediently target areas and individuals. Each week, the police department’s command staff attend a strategic deployment session, at which crime analysis maps are presented, trends are discussed and the previous week’s deployment efforts are analyzed. Command staff personnel then review the most current statistical crime category summaries and develop specific deployment strategies designed to impact crime in designated geographic areas in a timely manner.


“We’ve been through a significant portion of our big warm weather,” Police Chief Richard Eddington told the RoundTable. He said he thought the decrease was “significant. … I don’t want to give short shrift to people who have been victimized, but, statistically, to be sitting on a 21 percent reduction in part-one major crimes is significant.”


The crime index categories do not include simple assault and battery, kidnapping, deceptive practices and other thefts, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct, and other offenses related to drugs, liquor, vice, weapons, children and motor vehicles.