On Tuesday evening, October 10, 2017, the Lawrenceville Police Department hosted the first in a series of quarterly public information forums designed to educate the public on the responsibilities of local law enforcement while strengthening community relations and continuing to bridge the gap between police officers and civilians.
The public meeting occurred at the Lawrenceville Police Department Headquarters; the facility is located at 300 Jackson Street, Lawrenceville, Georgia.
“We are looking forward to engaging the public and building relationships with the citizens of this community,” said Randy Johnson, Chief of Police for the Lawrenceville Police Department. “Our goal with this initial forum is to provide an overview of services we offer and focus on crime-related facts and strategies to create a safer, stronger community.”
Captain Jeff Smith provided an overview of the Lawrenceville Police Department, its various divisions, and reviewed crime statistics for the city. Captain Smith explained that uniform crime reporting began nationwide in the 1920’s. Crime statistics are kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and is voluntarily submitted by police departments across the country. At this time, only certain crimes are required to be reported. They include: violent crimes (criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault), property crimes (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft), and arson. Captain Smith clarified the difference between burglary, robbery, and larceny. “Burglary is a crime against property. Robbery is a crime by threat or intimidation against a person, and larceny is theft.” Captain Smith added, “Be mindful when looking at crime statistics year over year and/or from one city to another because there are changes in reporting requirements and therefore it is difficult to judge cause and effect relationships in the data.”
Lawrenceville Police Department Quick Facts
- 72 sworn police officers
- 25 civilian employees
- Service area: 13.5 square miles
- Lawrenceville population: 30,782 (2016 U.S. Census)
- Handled 87,319 calls in 2016 (approximately 7,277 per month or 239/day)
Captain Smith pointed out that the DUI Task Force has seen a decline in DUI cases in 2016 compared to 2015 (167 DUI cases in 2016; 196 DUI cases in 2015). However, the department has seen a surge in automobile accidents due to rear-end collisions and driver inattentiveness (3,395 accident reports in 2016; 3,053 accident reports in 2015). The crime prevention division has identified twelve known gang sets operating in the city of Lawrenceville, and the LPD is monitoring their activities.
Lawrenceville’s Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson was on hand at the event. “We have a strong police department. Rest assured, they are working for you as citizens. I am very proud of them. They are serious about stopping crime and quick to solve cases. I encourage you to see what it is like to be a police officer and sign up for the Lawrenceville’s Citizens Police Academy. You will get to see an in-depth look and gain an understanding of the role of the Lawrenceville police officer. I would love to see someone from every neighborhood complete the class.”
Alumni from the Citizens Police Academy were present and engaged citizens, encouraging them to participate in upcoming classes.
“It is your city. We feel it’s important to get information and facts out to the public. It’s key to keep our citizens informed,” said Captain Smith.
Chief Johnson asked, “What additional information would you like to see on the Lawrenceville Police Department website and/or topics to be discussed at future forums? Please reach out to us at the department via phone or email and let us know.”
Lawrenceville’s Public Information Forum schedule can be found online at www.lawrencevillega.org, under “Agendas and Minutes.” Forums will be held on a quarterly basis and the Lawrenceville Police Department encourages the public to engage and participate in these forums as much as possible.
For more information on the City of Lawrenceville, crime statistics, Citizens Police Academy, and public safety activity, please visit www.lawrencevillega.org.