Medford Township sees decline in crime so far in 2017

Data shows decrease in burglaries, increase in larcenies

The State Police keep data on incidents that are reported throughout the state. According to the first quarter of the State Police Uniform Crime Report, the number of reported incidents in Medford are down 14.3 percent over the same three-month period last year. Crime as a whole in the township remained relatively flat in 2016 (249 crimes) compared to 2015 (245 crimes).

“The police department has worked extremely hard in developing relationships with our residents,” Police Chief Richard Meder said. “We try to keep them informed of what is happening and how to protect themselves and their property. We also have worked to have a more visible presence in the community. Both of these I think are helping to keep numbers down.”

One of the biggest crimes that decreased was the number of burglaries. Burglaries declined by a little more than 35 percent. The most significant spike in 2016 involved larcenies, and that trend has continued so far into 2017. During the first three months of 2017, there have been 32 larceny incidents, five more than the previous year.

“Many of the larcenies are preventable when residents take appropriate precautions,” Meder said. “We try to be highly visible and educate the residents.”

According to Police Chief Meder, one thing that was seen by the department was the use of opioid drug overdoses. The recent rise in cases involving these drugs has been put in the spotlight with initiatives by Gov. Christie and other organizations in the state.

“Last year, we did see a spike in opioid overdoses,” Meder said. “The police department carries Narcan to help us treat these victims. In fact, last year the police department and other emergency service personnel were successful in saving a number of lives through the use of Narcan.”

Second quarter crime data will be available in mid-July.