Crime: Elkton’s Rate Higher Than Most Places in Region

Our posts touching on the robbery of the downtown barbership caused an unanticipated sidebar discussion in the comments section with several readers appending a range of reactions to the pieces.  As we watched the exchange, we thought we should acquire some insightful data to provide a method for gauging the situation.

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Crime:  The Best & The Worst

Since the 1930s the Federal Government has collected crime statistics from local jurisdictions with the aim of helping officials measure crime rates.  This data is published on many sites on the Internet and some of them, such as Real Estate groups, use the statistics to create rankings of places in order to help home buyers selected the best place to live.  A few days ago, Salisbury News, a blog we visit most days to get updates from the Lower Shore, presented information comparing Salisbury to other jurisdictions in Maryland, including Elkton.  It indicated that places such as Bel Air, Aberdeen, and Havre de Grace had safer environments than Elkton, much to our surprise. (Havre de Grace and Aberdeen seem to get lots of headlines about drugs and crime.).  Given the idea by the Salisbury web-log (We’ve borrowed others story concepts and techniques from the experienced blogger), we decided to drill into our data to see how the county seat of Cecil County is fairing.

Elkton’s crime rate is increasing and it is a consistent upward trend.  Beginning in 2004, the numer of serious incidents has increased each year.  (2008 data was not available.)  Another way to gauge how the community is doing is to compare it to others of similiar size and characteristics.  In our case, Elkton has a higher rate than all the places we checked.   For comparison, we though Havre de Grace, Bel Air and Aberdeen were appropriate because the size is similiar and population characteristics probably have parallels. We tossed in few more such as Newark, Easton, and Cambridge so we’d have some more benchmarks.    We were surprised to see that Elkton’s ranked higher than these other places.

The Elkton Police Department has an authorized strength of 43 officers, and a number of civilians support the force.  For the upcoming fiscal year, the department has asked the Mayor and Commissioners to include additional sworn personnel.

Surely the issue of public safety is one that the Elkton Alliance is considering as it implements strategies to revitalize the central business district.  Having a downtown area that is appealing to visit and one where people feel comfortable strolling has to be a critical element of a revitalizaton plan, if the town is going to draw people back to Main Street.

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7 responses to “Crime: Elkton’s Rate Higher Than Most Places in Region

  1. Crazy Old History Teacher

    Hey Ayn Rand…oops I mean Mike Dixon, STOP SAYING “WE”, SAY “I”! You must of been sleeping in class when I told you that. LEAVE MY HOMETOWN OF CAMBRIDGE ALONE! When I grew up there as a kid during many years ago, we would just burn houses down…hey there was nothing else to do down there in Dorchester County.

    BY THE WAY, THAT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE SO DON’T BITE MY HEAD OFF! I don’t want my “needling” sense of humor to offend anyone.

  2. Don’t know much bout what that there old history teacher is saying, But I will tell you something I don’t need no figures to tell me. Elkton has a problem with homeless, prostitutes, drugs and crime. Just drive through town at anytime in the middle of the day and you cannot help but see it.

    You mean those commissioners don’t know that. Guess they never come into Elkton except to go to the town hall. Otherwise they would know what is going on and would not have to have people Like Judys Java have to come and tell them how bad it is. Just drive around you will see it. That commissioner that also runs the Elkton chamber of commerce has her office in the old town hall so she has to see it.

  3. Ayn Rand…. too funny! Her books were SO “de rigeur” :-)

    Anyway, great stats here Mike. You don’t read these in any local paper!

    “Keep on keepin’ on” !

  4. Crazy Old History Teacher

    I agree with you Janelle. My stupid English Professor I had when I was going to Salisbury Normal School (No, I’m not that old! It was Salisbury State College by my time) made me read it.

    Anyway, I’m glad I moved out of Elkton when I did. Elkton just isn’t what it used to be. In fact I’m glad that I moved out of Cecil County. I am so relieved when I reach the Cecil County line driving home from work. The only reason why I still teach here is the fact that I need a retirement…I would retire if it wasn’t for the stupid Bush administration ruined everything for us!

  5. Janelle:

    Thanks. If I had a print newspaper and a staff of a half-dozen reporters (or whatever it is) these are the types of things I’d roll out. The statistics are there, whatever they say. If they’re good, ask an official to explain what they’re doing right. If the trends aren’t good, ask some really deep questions to try to find out what’s going on. It’s really too easy, especially when you have staff.

    There’s so much news out there.

  6. Crazy Young History Teacher,
    Gee your first post sounded like some of your “greatest hits” from past comments. I now love them all and your squooshed face picture is very cute. it really made me think of valentine hearts when you posted on what Bush did to your retirement plans. (hearts for you, not bush!) my family has been hurt very badly and we may never recover.

  7. Guess Mayor Joe better take some of the Main Street stimulus plan and make sure we get those extra cops, the chief is asking for. If you been anywhere near Main St during the workweek you know why. Then see if after the lawyers, prisoners, and court workers go home. We need more cops. Mayor Joe take some of that stimulus money you have been spending on Main Street and put it where it will pay off. More cops on the streets. If the streets are not safe, the shoppers are not going to come. Course, we don’ t have any shops for them to come to after all this time anyway. When they moved the county employees out of Elkton, the handwriting was already on the wall. But that did it. Come into town and just look around
    Hope Obamas stimulus plan works out better than Mayor Joes handouts. Otherwise we are in real trouble and I think we are

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