For most people, the dog days of summer are a time to slow down and take it easy. For the Dover Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit that couldn’t be further from the truth as they are on pace to set the highest clearance rate seen by the department in the last five years. It is no secret that this specialized unit is considered tops in the state and one of the best in the nation, consistently solving robberies and burglaries at twice the national rate or more, but those numbers have risen even higher through the first half of 2014.
Burglaries: As of July 15th, the Criminal Investigations Unit has handled 36 total burglaries with 26 of those being cleared for a clearance rate of 72%. Burglaries are one of the most difficult crimes to solve. The national clearance average for all of 2012, was just 13.6%, meaning that through the first half of this year, the unit is nearly 60% above the 2012 statistic, and 14% over the 2013 clearance rate of 58.1% set by the unit when they investigated a total of 98 burglaries for the year.
Robberies: At the time of this release, the Dover Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit has investigated 48 total robberies. 39 of those robberies have been cleared for an astounding 81% clearance rate. The clearance rate for all of 2013 was 68.2%, which was more than double the national average of 33.2% in 2012. Of the 48 robberies, four were bank robberies. Each of the four bank robbery investigations has led to an arrest of the suspect for a 100% clearance rate. The highest robbery clearance rate the Dover police Department has seen in the last 5 years was 71% in 2010. The Criminal Investigations Unit looks to break that record in 2014 by continuing their hot streak.
Lt. Dave Spicer, the Criminal Investigations Unit Commander, attributes the high clearance rate to multiple factors. “First and foremost, these numbers clearly show the dedication and determination the officers in this unit have to solve cases in a timely manner and make our community a safer place to live” Spicer stated. “The detectives truly care for their community and take great pride in being able to produce at such a high rate.” Spicer also added that the public should also take pride in the high success rate. “The amount of information we have received from the public due to our increased ability to share information about crimes through our website, social media, and smart phone app has been extremely helpful in solving many of our crimes. The cooperation we receive from our citizens is extraordinary and they should be just as proud of these numbers as the detectives who are working these cases.” Dover Police Chief, Paul Bernat added “The odds of a criminal getting away with a robbery in Dover is less than 20%. The odds of them getting away with a burglary is less than 30%. Those are very poor odds and criminals should think twice before committing a crime in the city of Dover. The city of Dover is blessed with talented and brave police officers and I am very proud to lead such talent. If you commit a crime in Dover, the men and women of this department will find you.”
While the success rate is high, the unit understands that their continued hard work is crucial to keeping those numbers up. The success rate is not just the result of the hard work by the detectives, but the department as a whole. It begins with the dispatchers taking a call and sending crucial information to working patrol units in a timely manner. A quick response and great teamwork by the patrol unit and other special units within the department have led to the quick capture of several suspects. Recent examples of this include the capture of a bank robbery suspect within 30 minutes of the crime at the WSFS located on Route 8 and the capture of two robbery suspects just last week within minutes of the crime being committed. The collective efforts of all the members of the department greatly contribute to the ultimate success of the unit. The Criminal Investigations Unit hopes their momentum will continue through the remainder of the summer and roll right into the holiday season, ultimately ending in a record breaking year for solving major crimes. Based on the 1st half of 2014, they stand a great chance at accomplishing just that.
To learn more about the Criminal Investigations Unit, click here: DPD CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION UNIT