TPD Reviews 2012 Trends: Violent Crime Up, Property Crime Down

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller recapped 2012 crime numbers at a crime strategy briefing Wednesday.

The past year saw crime committed against two of TPD's own - the fatal shooting of Corporal David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly.

Their memory was honored today with a special gift.

"I'm pleased to announce an annual gift in the name of Corporal Gogian and Officer Atherly," Michael Kiley, Chief Executive Officer of the Security Benefit Corporation, told officers and members of the community assembled at the Law Enforcement Center.

Kiley presented Miller with a $12,000 dollar check toward the purchase of bullet-proof vests for the force's newest cadets.

Miller says community support for the police force, both from corporate and private citizens is vital in achieving a safer city.

"Property crimes went down...actually that's attributable to citizens locking their homes, preventing auto theft, preventing burglary to businesses," Miller said.

But he also acknowledged there's more to do.

"Violent crime went up by about 10 percent. That should be a concern to all of us," he said.

The biggest increases were due to aggravated assault and battery, up by 83 cases from 2011. Robberies to businesses also increased, up by 12 from the previous year.

The murder rate remained the same in 2012 as in 2011, at 15.

The killings of police officers Gogian and Atherly are being investigated by the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office. It's awaiting lab reports from the KBI before forwarding its finding to the District Attorney.

"Then eventually the police department will conduct an administrative investigation into what happened," Miller said.

Miller also announced that the size of the Topeka police force will increase this year from it's current level of 280 officers to 300 by mid-year.