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Police, fire, and community development reports provide a snapshot of Decatur

Each city department provides monthly reports to the city council in advance of their second monthly meeting.  The reports provide the most up-to-date information about goings-on in the city.  Below are some highlights from the May 2024 reports compared to reports from May 2023.  In addition, the reports shed light on the significant damage that was caused by the late March hailstorm. 

Public safety has improved significantly in multiple areas using data from the police report.  Shootings are down 31% YTD through May compared to last year (n=29 vs. 42).  Furthermore, shootings are down 52% compared to YTD through May 2021, the year Decatur experienced the most shootings in recent history.  On the roads, traffic accidents are down 7% (n=919 vs. 986) continuing a positive trend in road safety.  Calls for service have increased 2% from 20,644 through May 2023 vs. 21,025 through May 2024, and criminal arrests are up 24% from 1,298 to 1,615. 

Our Decatur fire fighters continue to respond to alarm calls at a record pace.  YTD through May 2024, the DFD has responded to 5,950 alarms compared to 5,684 alarms YTD through May 2023 (5% increase).  The continued increase in alarm calls is concerning given that the city’s population is declining.  As per the December 2023 report, “In the future, the City and the fire department will need to decide what alarms the department will continue to respond. This is not a unique problem to Decatur, but 911 has become a system for non-emergency needs as well as emergency needs. This call volume causes excessive wear and tear on the equipment as well as the firefighters.”  To date, the city council has yet to discuss this public safety issue.

For many years, community revitalization has been the city council's top priority, yet neighborhood metrics continue to illustrate a city whose housing stock is in significant distress.  Nuisance violations have increased from 798 violations YTD through May 2023 compared to 851 violations YTD through May 2024 (7%), the number of properties declared unfit for human habitation increased from 280 to 323 (15%), while the number of properties that were boarded up decreased by 4 from 183 to 179 (-2%).  The number of demolitions through May 2024 was 58 compared to 37 through May 2023 (57%), but is off the pace of the 200 properties that were expected to be demolished by year’s end. 

The Community and Economic Development report also puts into better perspective the significant damage that was caused by the hailstorm that hit Decatur at the end of March.  In April and May 2023, the city issued 38 (work value of $402,701) and 60 roof permits (work value of $622,822), respectively.  In April and May 2024, the city issued 62 (work value of $944,506) and 412 (work value of $7,070,755) permits, respectively, an increase of 383% in the number of roof permits and an increase in per roof work value of 682%.


Horn for Decatur
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