RICHMOND (WRIC) - The 2013 crime report for Richmond is out and overall it's good news for the city.
Compared to 2012, there was a four percent drop in all categories -- violent, property and major crime.
Murders were down 37 from 44.
Chief Ray Tarasovic shared the numbers for his first year on the job.
"We are getting things accomplished because we are intense about the way we do business," he says.
But Tarasovic says it's hard to get satisfaction from crime reduction because there's so much more work to do.
Joined by precinct and sector leaders, Tarasovic calls Richmond a safer city than it was a decade ago, thanks to the partnership between police and the public.
"Most crimes don't get cleared by fingerprints, don't get cleared by video, some CSI magic… Most crimes get cleared and arrests get made because someone saw it occur."
Doctor Geoffrey Cooper, president of the Church Hill Association, says that's the way it has to be to keep crime down.
"We're all friends, we're all neighbors and we watch out for each other," he says. "Police are out and about. They're part of the community and it's nice to see them and work with them."
Eyes and ears on the streets help to make arrests.
Last year, Richmond stomped the national clearance rate for most crimes and Tarasovic says it's not a closed book for cases that still need to be solved.
"We don't shut down on December 31, clean the slate at midnight and then begin again on January 1. Our job is continuous."
While most crimes were down in the city, there were two spikes that Chief Tarasovic doesn't take lightly -- purse snatching and shoplifting.
He says his plan for 2014 includes more community awareness to prevent these incidents, along with an effort by his officers to react more quickly.
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