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The crime rate dropped almost 10 percent in Evanston in 2013 after two years of remaining essentially flat. Chief Richard Eddington called the report “good news” in that “there were 227 less victims of Part I crimes” in 2013 as compared to 2012.

The most violent crimes, homicide and criminal sexual assault, rose, however, and the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy actually resulted in fewer “investigative stops” than in 2012. The report was presented to City Council on Jan. 17.

Commander Jay Parrott said the drop in Part I crimes was the largest since 2010, when the rate dropped about 12 percent. Part I crimes include homicide, aggravated assault, battery, robbery, burglary, criminal sexual assault and auto theft. Part II crimes include most every other type of crime, ranging from traffic offenses to simple assault. Weapons offenses and drug offenses are Part II crimes.

Evanston reported four homicides in 2013, one more than in 2012. Chief Eddington reported “the clearance of all four homicides.”

Commander Parrott cautioned against viewing the criminal sexual assault increase, from six in 2012 to 11 in 2013, as a trend, because such crimes are so personal in nature. Nearly all CSAs are between an offender and victim who know each other, he said.

The department has been using a “data-driven approach” to police deployment and crime prevention, said Commander Parrott that which officers are deployed to areas where crime occurs. The approach is enforcement-driven, he said, and “efforts are evaluated on a weekly basis.”

Commander Parrott said the department “stopped and frisked” 1,547 adults and 284 juveniles in 2012. The number decreased slightly in 2013 to 1,533 adults and 203 juveniles in 2013. The department continues to “evaluate demographics to make sure there is no racial profiling,” he said.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, asked for a racial breakdown of those stopped. Commander Parrott said that in evaluating demographics, the department tied stops to crimes reported by the public and not the general population demographics. He said that for adults, about 70 percent of reported suspects were black, 18.5 percent white and about 10 percent Latino and the remainder other races. For juveniles, 82.4 percent of reported crimes were by black suspects, 11.1 percent white, 5.6 percent Latino, and the rest other races.

Of adults stopped in 2013, 68 percent were black, 15 percent  white, 16 percent  Latino, and the rest were other races. For juveniles, 66 percent  were black, 23 percent  white, 10 percent Latino and the rest other races.

At citizen comment, Jevoid Simmons first praised Ald. Braithwaite for asking for racial breakdown numbers, then said the racial breakdown numbers should have been provided without an alderman having to ask for them. He said the breakdown, with so many more blacks stopped than whites, was disturbing. 

With overall Part I crime down, investigative stops diminishing and suspects in all 2013 homicides in jail, the department reported largely positive news.