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Shootings are down and structure fires are up in Decatur

There was a 24% decrease in the number of shootings in 2022 compared to 2021 in Decatur.  In 2022, there were 136 shootings compared to 179 shootings in 2021.  The number of criminal offenses in the city also decreased 14% from 5,514 in 2021 to 4,748 in 2022 (  I want to thank our citizens, community organizations, churches, and Decatur Police officers for their heroic efforts to help reduce the surge in gun violence the city has experienced since 2020 and reduce the overall number of criminal offenses taking place in our city. 

While criminal offenses in the city were down, the number of fire alarms and fires rose last year.  There were 143 structure fires in Decatur in 2022, the most since 2008.  The Fire Department also responded to 13,108 alarms, the largest number ever.  I want to thank Decatur Fire Fighters for the work they do every day to protect the lives, safety, and property of our citizens.  Decatur citizens are very fortunate to have such dedicated and courageous public servants. 

Neighborhood revitalization efforts are not keeping pace with the rate of blight.  The number of Decatur housing units declared unfit for human habitation in 2022 was 501, a 33% increase from the 376 units declared unfit in 2021.  In addition, the number of housing units the city has boarded up in 2022 was 344, a 15% increase from the 298 housing units boarded up in 2021.  In 2022, the city demolished 64 housing units compared to 36 in 2021 (78%).  However, the city has estimated that between 250-300 houses need to be demolished each year to keep pace with the rate of blight (i.e., the city demolished 26% of the annual total needed in 2022).  The number of weed violations decreased 35% from 2,339 in 2021 to 1,530 in 2022.  This decrease may be a result of the city proactively mowing vacant lots at a cost to city taxpayers of ~$550,000 annually. 

The above data is provided in the December monthly reports that are published as part of the second city council meeting each January (  These monthly reports provide a snapshot of important quality of life metrics for citizens of Decatur and can be used by the city council in funding allocation decisions. 

Horn for Decatur
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