The Martinsburg Police Department recently released its 2018 annual report, which shows there’s been a significant decrease in major crime over the past year.
Crime is going down in Martinsburg. According to the Martinsburg Police Department, from 2015 to 2018 burglaries and robberies have decreased. Just in those three years burglaries have reduced by 51 percent and robberies have plummeted by 55 percent. Also in 2018, there were no homicides.
“Our officers are out of the cars. We’re doing foot patrol, we’re meeting people, so there’s more trust, there’s more communication and other things as well,” said Maury Richards, Martinsburg police chief.
In addition to community policing, Martinsburg Police Chief Maury Richards attributes the decrease in crime to their drug house ordinance, which has helped shut down 42 drug houses since 2016.
“When you have a drug house in a neighborhood, it undermines the fabric in that neighborhood because, it brings other crimes as well. Probably sometimes you have these robberies and burglars living in these houses,” said Richards.
A couple Martinsburg residents were happy to hear that the crime rate has gone down over the last couple of years.
“Having the crime rate go down makes people more comfortable. Have a safe place that’s what we’re all striving for,” said Robert Wenner, a Martinsburg resident.
“I’ve lived in this community my whole life, since I was a little kid and always heard it being plagued with crime and drugs and it’s really great to hear things are cleaning up,” said Christopher Salgado, a Martinsburg resident.
Chief Richards says he’s staying optimistic as the department recently hired five new officers and will be moving to a new building in December of 2019.
“Martinsburg is a very good community. It’s strong, it’s vibrant and the future looks very bright,” said Richards.
Crimes such as sexual assaults, and abuse and crimes involving weapons have decreased from 2017 to 2018 as well.