Farmington, N.M. – Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe presented crime statistics at the city council meeting earlier this week, showing an overall decrease in crime in the Farmington city limits. The data measures 20 different calls for service, ranging from homicides to shoplifting reports, from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2021.
At the Farmington City Council meeting on January 27, Chief Hebbe spoke about crime trends over the last five years and the data gathered by FPD. The statistics show a decrease in most of the data points measured, and they also show a reduction in the overall calls for service. The stats don’t reflect the decreased number of officers working for FPD, and Hebbe reports the number of officers employed by the department has been down for a year and a half.
“One thing that can have a significant impact on statistics is the number of officers you have. If you have more officers on patrol, they’re making more contacts and driving up your calls for service. If your numbers are lower, your calls for service are lower.” explained Chief Hebbe.
Chief Hebbe next spoke about the violent crime stats and the 20% decrease in the number of robberies reported. He mentioned FPD’s efforts to better support and coordinate with victims of crimes in the city’s street inebriate population over the last year. Hebbe expressed hope that the program is responsible for the impact on violent crimes within the city.
“We’ve dedicated a victim advocate to primarily work with that community to keep them attached to the process so we do get convictions that we previously couldn’t,” the chief reported.
The chief then discussed property crimes, specifically the burglary and shoplifting categories. Hebbe touted the shoplifting data point showing a 29% decrease when there has been a national trend of massive shopliftings in larger cities around the country. The three burglary categories have been trending down locally since 2017, showing an average reduction of 53%.
“The average citizen is probably most affected by their car, house, or business being broken into. The fact that all of these numbers are down is good for our community,” said Chief Hebbe.
Overall, Chief Hebbe spoke of his goals to recruit more officers and his department’s recent hiring challenges. The city council and mayor’s support for the department in their recruiting efforts were highlighted when Mayor Nate Duckett mentioned he was trying to recruit for the police department on a recent trip.
Chief Hebbe finished the presentation by saying, “I’m hopeful that the national narrative continues to change, and being a cop is something that people will want to be again.”