Major crimes have declined in rural Ellis County for the second straight year, Sheriff Johnny Brown reported this week.

Known as Part 1 crimes on the Uniform Crime Report that’s submitted to the FBI, the offenses include homicide, sexual assault, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft.

“When I took over as sheriff in January 2009, one of my main goals was to reduce crime in Ellis County,” Brown said. “First, I insisted that all the sections within the sheriff’s office work together and share information.

“Second, we put more marked cars on the roads. With this new practice we spread out and performed joint enforcement ventures with other law enforcement agencies in the county,” he said. “Through a cooperative effort we have achieved our goal to reduce crime. These efforts have really paid off.”

Statistics show a 34-percent decrease in major crimes from 2008 to 2010.

In 2008, a total of 1,792 Part 1 offenses were reported. Brown took office in 2009, with year-end results showing Part 1 crimes dropping to 1,361 in number.

The 2010 tally shows 1,178 Part 1 offenses, with Brown noting that reported burglaries of homes and buildings alone dropped by nearly 200 offenses per year for 2009 and 2010. 

“I need to make one thing clear,” Brown said. “Law enforcement has not been the sole reason for the decrease. We are finding that our citizens are taking a more active role in watching out for their neighbors by calling us whenever they see something that just doesn’t look right.

“I love seeing them become more involved in their communities,” Brown said. “I hope more citizens become a part of this trend and get on board by their giving law enforcement agency a call when they see something going wrong. After all, law enforcement can only be as effective as the citizens they serve. Working together, we can continue this trend making Ellis County a safer place for all.”

The UCR Program is a voluntary city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement program that provides a nationwide view of crime based on the submission of statistics by law enforcement agencies throughout the country, according to the FBI’s website