The police chief in Normal said he's pleased with crime trends.
Rick Bleichner said so-called index crimes reported to the FBI declined modestly while the overall crime rate was down 8 percent last year.
"I think in looking at the five-year average it was the second lowest only following 2013. And it was pretty comparable. It was a little higher, but we're talking 40 or 50 crimes, not hundreds of crimes," said Bleichner.
In one way, the drop is surprising. Bleichner said 2016 started off with a spike in vehicle burglaries.
"We kind of looked at it to determine where we could make differences. We found that 97 percent of the vehicle burglaries that happened were unlocked vehicles. So, we tried to educate people on those," said Bleichner.
Burglary crimes ended up dropping sharply for the year.
Bleichner said police react to crime trends, but prevention and education might have lingering benefits.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.