Ogden City’s Police department has taken a proactive approach to crime prevention in the last several years. Using innovative and highly motivated methods, a significant drop in crime has been realized over the years. Crime reporting is established in three steps: defining crime, reporting crime, and tracking reports.
Defining Part 1 Crimes
There are eight criminal offenses that make up what law enforcement has labeled “Part 1 Crimes;” four are violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and four are property crimes (burglary, larceny, auto theft, and arson). This reporting method is the industry standard for all law enforcement agencies throughout the nation and is compiled each year to create the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Of all Part 1 Crimes committed in Ogden (1991 to 2008), about 93% are property crimes.
In House Tracking
In addition to reporting Part 1 Crimes for the FBI UCR, crimes within Ogden are also tracked continuously with the police department's in-house records management system, called Versaterm. While the FBI UCR provides a static reflection of citywide crime incidents for an entire year at a time, Ogden’s Versaterm system allows the flexibility to monitor crime rates, trends, and patterns through various areas of the city and for specific time periods.
The Versaterm system was implemented in late 2001; the first full calendar year of data is from 2002. This, combined with what is available at the FBI’s website and hard copy reports stored at Ogden City’s Public Safety Building, provides a snapshot of Ogden’s crime statistics from 1991 to present years.
Using Reports to Track and Influence Crime Trends
In November 2007, Ogden City Police department’s Crime Reduction Unit went into service. The primary focus of this newly employed police task force was, and still is, to reduce crime in the greater downtown area—a region defined as 20th Street to 30th Street and Washington Boulevard to Harrison Boulevard.
In 2008, Part 1 Crimes in Ogden were the lowest in 18 years. Crime decreased 15.2% from 2007 to 2008, making it the largest single-year crime reduction rate for this same 18-year period. These reductions in crime for Ogden cover a period of time when the city population increased. The highest year for Part 1 Crimes in Ogden was in 1997 when the population was listed as 73,125 (FBI UCR). In contrast, 2008 was the lowest year for Part 1 Crimes in Ogden and the population was listed as 83,353 (FBI UCR). Furthermore, the in-house tracking of Versaterm figures show a 4.5% drop in crime from 2008 to 2009.