Safe living space

Published 7:26 pm Saturday, November 1, 2008

According to Sterlings Best Website Places to live Ratings Jemison is at the top of the list followed closely by Thorsby and Maplesville.

The ratings used are a combination based on burglary, robbery, theft, rape, assault, murder and manslaughter.

In the violent crime rating, which includes rape, assault, murder and manslaughter Jemison, Thorsby and Maplesville all tied earning a 2 on a 1-10 scale where 1 is the best rating you can receive and 10 is the worst. In the property crime rating, which includes burglary, robbery and theft Jemison earned a 1 while Thorsby and Maplesville earned a 2.

Assistant Police Chief Shane Fulmer said that it is through hard work and good reporting that Jemison has reached such a high standard of living.

“We work every case that we get with the mindset of solving it, which helps us to work all the way through the end of the case,” Fulmer said. “We also have accountable reporting which helps us to keep all of our records straight even on a state level.”

The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) takes eight offenses into count when deciding how well a police department is working. The offenses they poll include criminal homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault/ simple assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and drug offences. Out of the eight offenses Jemison has two robberies, three aggravated assaults, 50 simple assaults, 20 burglaries, 45 larceny-thefts, 4 motor vehicle theft, 12 drug offenses. Out of these cases they have closed 1 robbery, three aggravated assaults, 36 simple assaults, 10 burglaries, 38 larceny-thefts, 6 motor vehicle thefts and 12 drug offenses giving them a total clearance rate of 79 percent. That gives Jemison a better rating from both the State of Alabama having only a 48 percent closing rating and the National statistics, which shows a 34 percent closure rating. Jemison sees around a total of 302 cases every six months. With an average of 50 hours being spent on each case the police department puts in at least 15,000 hours every six months solving cases.

“We work really hard on our cases but we also work really hard on our patrol work. Over the past three years we have really worked on our streets and have seen some dramatic changes,” Police Chief Brian Stilwell said. “Especially in our accident totals. We believe that small things will take care of the big things and that has proven to be true.”

In 2005 Jemison had a total of 111 accidents with four being fatalities. After they added extra patrol and started working the streets they have seen their numbers drop to 82 in 2006, 59 in 2007 and only 25 so far this year.

Through working together and slowing down traffic the Jemison Police Department has proven that Jemison is safe place to live.

– Ashley McCartney can be reached at