During 1988, none of the types of crimes that are becoming commonplace in larger American cities occurred in American Fork, population 15,000.
There were no murders, attempted homicides, negligent manslaughters, attempts to commit forcible rape or arsons.Police Chief John Durrant summed up the annual Police Department report in two words: "No trends." That is, the crime rate has gone down in some areas, up a little in other areas, but overall stayed about the same.
Reports of simple assaults, burglaries, thefts, prowlers, and criminal mischief all were slightly down in 1988 compared to 1987.
Reports of aggravated assault, sex offenses, and traffic accidents increased slightly in 1988. Increases also were recorded in the areas of forcible rape and forcible sexual abuse. Durrant said the majority of the rapes and sexual abuses reported were domestic incidents, and "sexual abuse percentages will continue to go up everywhere" because people realize sexual abuse is a crime and are more apt to report it.
Shoplifting had the biggest increase in American Fork during 1988. There were 165 reported incidents, up 40 percent from 1987.
"This is one crime the Police Department is not involved a great deal in enforcing," Durrant said. However, businesses are making a greater effort at apprehending shoplifters and reporting incidents to the police, Durrant said.
Spring fever apparently played a part in burglaries during 1988, according to the city's annual report. During April, more than $52,000 worth of losses were reported to police; during May, more than $40,000 worth of valuables were stolen. April and May also were the months in which the largest number of stolen goods were recovered: more than $85,000 worth. Chalk it up to good police work.
Crime may not be running rampant in the streets of American Fork, but apparently dogs and cats are. Animal control officers issued at least 300 more citations for animal violations in 1988 than in 1987. They picked up 314 dogs and 227 cats. Durrant said a change in personnel was responsible for the reported increases in this category. The city is allowing police officers to work as animal control officers during off-duty hours.
Durrant said the police officers are "more active" in controlling loose animals.
'No trends' sums up 1988 stats
Forcible rape 1 5
Forcible sexual abuse 6 18
Robbery 1 1
Aggravated assaults 7 11
Simple assaults 156 133
Burglaries 81 77
Larceny/theft 583 582
Criminal mischief 188 187
Sex offenses 13 23
Prowlers/trespassers 89 71
Total criminal arrests 1,125 1,450
Source: American Fork Police Department annual report.