PIEDMONT – Piedmont police chief Freddie Norton isn’t a fan of social media. He said he gets frustrated sometimes looking at people’s comments talking about all the drugs and crime in Piedmont.
The stats prove otherwise.
On Tuesday night at the Piedmont City Council meeting, Norton presented the council with his department’s yearly report for 2020. Violent crimes are down eight percent from last year, and 66 percent since 2016. Burglaries are down 29 percent from last year, 58 percent since 2016. Thefts are down 21 percent from last year, 40 percent since 2016. Traffic accidents are down 13 percent from last year, 35 percent since 2016.
“Everything’s going down,” Norton said. “In five years since 2016, we made some changes, and you can see how much everything has dropped out, just by the way were changing some of the things we were doing on patrol. Those theft reports started coming down. Those burglar reports started coming down. The violent crime started coming down. Those drug arrests started coming down. That’s what we expected to happen. I didn’t expect these numbers to drop as quickly as they did, but I’ll take it.”
The 2020 numbers have come down despite Norton’s department being shorthanded.
“We worked short three people this (past) year,” Norton said. “From January until June, I was three patrolmen short. Two were in the academy and being FTO’d (field training). One was overseas.”
Mayor Bill Baker thanked Norton and his department for their efforts.
“Chief, I think you should be commended for what you’ve done. These are great, great numbers,” Baker said. “I applaud you and your police department and your dispatchers for a job well done.”