Monday, January 12, 2009

Shots fired

I am engaged in my annual process of reviewing the past year, and will be looking at some of the trends and patterns that emerge.

Last year, in this city of a quarter million, eight people were shot in the course of crimes. Two of these were fatal: a police officer shot an assailant armed with a knife, and a women was shot by her boyfriend in a murder/suicide. One person was shot in a robbery; five were shot in assaults.

I have no source for comparison data from other cities, but I have the feeling that this number of persons shot during the course of a year is incredibly low. I do know that both our homicide rate and our robbery rate are very low in comparison to other cities.

Of these eight shootings, only one has not been solved. That case involves a rather suspicious story from an uncooperative victim, and will probably remain uncleared. In two of the cases, the suspects are currently fugitives, and those will both be cleared eventually when they inevitably surface.

Overall there were 224 crimes committed with guns in Lincoln during 2008. The largest single category was weapons offenses; such as discharging a firearm within the City limits, possession of an illegal firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, and felon in possession of a firearm. Here's the breakdown:


It is quite possible (actually, likely) that a good number of the assaults and robberies were not genuine firearms, but rather fakes such as bb guns or Airsoft pistols, but there's no way to know that except in the cases that are cleared and the weapon recovered.

16 comments:

Doublebanker said...

Many were likely fakes, but you've always gotta assume the worst. Hopefully Shield's security is a little tighter now to prevent a large number of weapons entering the street again.

Jim said...

Good Morning Chief: Of the “Concealed Weapons Charges”. Were most of those filed along with other charges, or were they errant Concealed Handgun Permit holders?

Tom Casady said...

Jim-

The weapons offenses would include cases in which someone was illegally carrying a concealed firearm.

Anonymous said...

Could you comment on the recent, nationwide, spike in embezzlement cases. One repot that says it is up about 80%. The recent drug store caper that went on for several years shows it has surfaced in Lincoln. How can an employer let this go on for so long? Perhaps the drug store had to scramble to get the books in order in the event the IRS would take a peek?

Anonymous said...

If Scheel's (not "Shield's") alarm company would have been directed by Scheel's to dial LPD immediately, they'd have caught those burglars on-site. Once called, LPD was on-site in less time than had elapsed between the alarm company making the first call to the manager and the time that it took the manager to mosey over to the store and discover the crime. That's what needs to be tightened out of Scheel's alarm policies. Municipal law prohibits auto-dialing alarms, but not a human monitor dialing 911 when they see a tripped sensor.

I think what Jim might be asking is how many of those illegally concealed firearm charges involved a CHP holder carrying where permit holders are forbidden by law to carry.

Buck said...

Anon 9:59,

It took the alarm company 12 minutes to contact the manager...the problem I see is with the alarm company and their delay to contact someone. It should not have taken then 12 minutes to contact anyone. I don't blame Scheel's, I blame the alarm company, and if I were Scheel's management, I'd be looking elsewhere for security service.

Additionally, had police not botched the search of Jameal Gaines' home, another criminal would have received the justice he had coming.

As far as you final question goes, I believe that the Chief is forbidden by law to reveal such information...though I could be mistaken.

Anonymous said...

TO:January 12, 2009 9:15 AM
Must have taken Barrack Obama's "spread the wealth" intentions seriously.

Anonymous said...

Here's a City you compare favorably to on the shots fired count.

Tom Casady said...

Anonymous-

Nicely written, but you're right: I don't publish posts that are personal and of this type.

Human nature being what it is, people almost always describe their own conduct in the most favorable light, even when they have behaved poorly. I've never understood why it is that police officers, who deal with this phenomenon on a constant basis, don't step back and think about this when they hear these things.

Never draw a conclusion until and unless you've heard the full story. A one-sided account from he who has the strongest interest in the outcome is seldom the most reliable means for taking in the full picture.

Tom Casady said...

9:15-

I heard some wire story report about embezzlement spiking, but I'm suspicious as to whether that is really the case. Sometimes these things get repeated so much that people think they are true, when it was really someone somewhere you just shot from the lip. In Lincoln, frauds and forgeries are way down over past several years, and down slightly in 2008.

The specific Lincoln case you refer to is a classic example: a lot of money was embezzled, but it was spread out over a long enough time that it took quite a while for the owners to become suspicious. The key to embezzlement is trust: placing too much of it in the hands of a single employee. When we investigate embezzlement cases, we usually find the same basic mistakes: lack of strong financial controls, such as double signatures on checks, review of statements, production and review of a monthly P & L, absence of an audit process, and (especially in the case of non-profits) a board and/or treasurer who are blissfully disengaged from operations.

Tom Casady said...

11:30-

Happy to provide you with the rest of the story. I think the words are not in dispute, just the context and the events surrounding the conversation. And your point is well taken.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I didn't see the answer, or I'm too dumb to recognize it. So, I'll ask a more direct question. How many of the 90 weapons charges were filed against concealed firearm permit holders? I don't think state law prevents you from revealing this.

Tom Casady said...

6:15-

Just one, that I know of.

Lorimor said...

"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale
armed conflict. That hasn't happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass
didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the
citizens who have permits. I'm a convert."
Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association
***
"I'm detecting that I'm eating a lot of crow on this issue. It isn't something I necessarily like to
do, but I am doing it on this."
Harris County [Texas] District Attorney John Holmes
***
"Some of the public safety concerns which we imagined or anticipated a couple of years ago, to
our pleasant surprise, have been unfounded or mitigated."
Fairfax County VA Police Major Bill Brown, The Alexandria Journal, 7/9/97
***
"I was wrong. But I'm glad to say I was wrong."
Arlington County VA Police Detective Paul Larson, previously an opponent of Right
to Carry, The Alexandria Journal, 7/9/97
***
"The concerns I had - with more guns on the street, folks may be more apt to square off against
one another with weapons - we haven't experienced that."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC Police Chief Dennis Nowicki, The News and Observer,
11/24/97
***
"From a law enforcement perspective, the licensing process has not resulted in problems in the
community from people arming themselves with concealed weapons."
Commissioner James T. Moore, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Memo to
the Governor, 3/15/95
***
"To set the record straight... The process is working... The statistics show a majority of
concealed firearms or firearm licensees are honest, law-abiding citizens exercising their right to
be armed for the purpose of lawful self defense."
Sandra B. Mortham, Florida Secretary of State
***
"As we have seen in other states and had predicted would occur in Texas, all the fears of the
naysayers have not come to fruition. A lot of critics argued that the law-abiding citizens
couldn't be trusted... But the facts do speak for themselves. None of these horror stories have
materialized."
Sheriff David Williams, Tarrant County, TX, Fort Worth Telegram, 7/17/96
***
"Virginia has not turned into Dodge City. We have not seen a problem."
Virginia Public Safety Secretary Jerry Kilgore, The Fredricksburg Freelance Star,
2/2/96
***
"Allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms deters violent crimes and it appears to produce
no increase in accidental deaths. If those states which did not have right to carry concealed
gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes and over
60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly."
Professor John R. Lott, Jr., and David B. Mustard, University of Chicago
***
"The facts are in and the record is clear: Right to Carry gives law enforcement, their families
and our communities real protection from violent criminals."
James J. Fotis, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Alliance of America.

Anonymous said...

Instead of posting quotes, I'll type out what I think, regarding why there aren't many (if any) documented instances of a Lincoln CHP holder foiling a crime with their legal CH. Keep in mind, this is all personal conjecture based on myself and other CHP holders I know.

- CHP holders, for the most part, don't carry in order to be an amateur security guard for everyone else, but rather for the security of themselves and their loved ones. They are aware of what goes on around them, more than the average person.

- CHP holders generally don't put themselves in at-risk situations. They usually aren't where violent crimes happen in Lincoln. They don't often party up on 10th & Charleston, or down at 14th & O, and if they do drink - even a drop by law - they can't carry in public until their BAC is back to 0.00. They can't carry in a bar-type bar, even if they are a stone-cold sober DD.

- CHP holders, because of the cost of training and the permit app (close to $300 all totaled (quite a sum for a low-income individual) usually don't live in low-income, densely-populated subdivisions where most of the street robberies happen. A lot of them are middle-aged and older married males that live in the "bubble" subs.

Anonymous said...

So chief, is this a pro or anti- LEGAL citizens gun rights. I also LOVE the post with all of the humble pie being served to and by anti-gun law enforcement.