Mesquite Police Chief Charles Cato presented the City Council with a quarterly report during Monday night’s City Council staff work session.
According to the police department overview, the total Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Crime year-to-date through September is down about 4 percent from the city’s five-year average. Eighty-nine percent of Mesquite’s UCR Crime is property crime, 11 percent is violent crime.
So far, in 2019, the UCR Crime Rate is below the five-year average in sexual assault, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft, but the UCR Crime rates for robbery and aggravated assault are higher so far in 2019 than the five-year average for those offenses.
Cato touched on an incident that occurred last month involving two Mesquite ISD students making threats on social media toward two campuses.
“We want everyone to know we take every one of these seriously. If there’s anything put out there we follow up, we investigate,” he said.
The students were a 13-year-old Frasier Middle School student and a 14-year-old West Mesquite High student, both were arrested and charged.
“We partner with the school district to put out information to the children and their parents. There’s nothing funny (about this). The message we want to send is that you will be arrested and charged if you make a threat about a school,” Cato said.
Current MPD projects include a license plate recognition system to be installed in the retail district in place 1.
This program is designed to deter criminal activity in the retail area and potentially provide useful leads for any criminal activity that does occur within the area by capturing license plates of vehicles that enter the area. Grant money has been provided and seizure money will cover the rest of the expense. This should be at Driftwood and Towne Crossing within the next couple of months.
Mesquite PD will also have an additional officer assigned to community policing in 2020 to interact with the youth of Mesquite in a positive manner. According to the city’s website, the plan is to have officers involved in sports and recreation with the kids to create fun and positive interactions and show them that police officers are their friends.
Mesquite PD is continuing to implement efforts to reduce the illegal use of guns in the city, and plans to become a regional hub for the investigation of gun crime to get guns out of the hands of criminals.