Traffic crashes down because tickets are up, chief tells service club

Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey says he is not big on crime stats. They’re just numbers, he says.

And in general Kenosha’s crime numbers are going in the right direction — down, he said Thursday.

But the most dramatic decrease in the city’s police related numbers is traffic accidents, Morrissey told a meeting of the Kenosha Area Noon Optimist Club.

Traffic crashes last year were down 32 percent over the year before, Morrissey said.

One reason, Morrissey said, is that another number was up — traffic citations.

“Traffic enforcement does correlate with that,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey shared the insights at the Optimists Club’s Respect for Law Day held at Baker’s Street in Kenosha.

Also in attendance was Capt. Paul Falduto of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Wheatland Constable Robert Haas, who also serves on the County Board.

Each of the law enforcement representatives spoke on their respective areas of responsibility.

Morrissey said that the department recently completed its annual crime statistics report, which has been given the to the Police and Fire Commission and soon will be posted on the department’s website.

All important indicators of crime in Kenosha are down, he said. Curbing gang activity and heroin use/trafficking remain key focuses of  effort by the department.

“I’m not going to say we don’t have gang issues in the city, but if you look to the north and the south we don’t have gang issues compared to them,” Morrissey said.

Falduto said so far law enforcement has been held outside of proposed budget cuts that seem to be coming to every level of government. But he doesn’t foresee any increase in police spending in the short-term.

“Budgets are not going to get any bigger for a while,” Falduto said. “They’re going to stay where they are.”

Also at the meeting, three children who won bicycles at the Optimist “Just Say No” Family Activity Center at Kenosha Expo were presented with their gift certificates.

Tremper High School senior Haily DeLuca, winner of the Junior Optimist Octagon Governor 2010-11 Club Essay Contest winner, also accepted her award. She read her essay, on the topic of “how my education is a key to my future” at the meeting.




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