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Zero tolerance enforcement reduces Canton crime by 14%

Photo Credit: Staff Illustration

Double-digit decline brings crime rate below 2004 levels

By Adam Herman
Released/Published: Feb 23, 2009

CANTON, Ohio — 

Mayor William Healy released statistics this week that indicate the city saw a 14% reduction in crime during his first year in office as a result of his administration’s “zero tolerance” crime policies.  Healy said the statistics are an indication that the administration’s aggressive police efforts are having their intended effect.

“The men and women of the Canton Police Department should be proud of this accomplishment,” Healy said.  “Canton is safer today than it was only a year ago.  These statistics show that our efforts over the past year have been effective and that criminals are beginning to realize they are not welcome.”

Last year’s crime statistics show 8,578 major crimes were reported to the Canton Police Department, a 13.9% drop in major crime from 2007. Of all categories measured, assault, larceny, and burglary showed the biggest declines, while robbery and motor vehicle theft also dropped from the same time period last year. 

Healy said that the sharp decline is even more significant when looking at data from the past several years showing crime trending upward.  In 2004, 9,129 major crimes were reported in Canton.  In the following three years, that number steadily increased to 9,674 (2005), 9,860 (2006), and 9,964 (2007).  Last year’s crime statistics fall below 2004 figures.

“I am happy with the success of this program as well as the direction it is currently headed,” Healy said.  “Our officers are always adjusting their tactics to respond to smarter criminals.  I am confident that this decline will not be a one-time occurrence.”

The Mayor’s “zero-tolerance” policies were funded in large part by a federal grant from the Northeast Ohio Violent Crime Consortium (NOVCC), which targets the reduction of violent crime in major urban areas.  The City received nearly $400,000 in federal dollars for the program in April of last year.

Examples of zero-tolerance police activities include gang surveillance, drug enforcement raids, illegal gun busts, highway interdictions, arrest warrant sweeps, and patrols of vacant homes.  Healy said that residents are beginning to see the effects of the City’s new crime policies, and hopes that further declines will follow in the months ahead. 

A full record of the crime statistics is attached to this release.  The method used by police to record crime statistics is compliant with FBI Uniform Crime Reporting procedures and was consistently used throughout the five-year period highlighted in the Mayor’s announcement.

Contact Information: Adam Herman - (330) 438-4304 -

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