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Violent Crime Rate

This indicator assesses the rates of homicide, rape or attempted rape, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents. It relies on the premise that the most sustainable approach to creating safe communities is... Read More

This indicator assesses the rates of homicide, rape or attempted rape, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents. It relies on the premise that the most sustainable approach to creating safe communities is by fortifying the underlying protective factors and relieving the risk factors that are the root causes of violence. Data is provided by the FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report, as reported by local police departments.

Abington, Pennsylvania

The hard work of the Abington Township Police Department (APD) has resulted for the fourth time, with the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission conferring reaccreditation. Abington was the first Department in Pennsylvania to achieve State accreditation and is one of only three departments out of over 1,100 State law enforcement... Read More

The hard work of the Abington Township Police Department (APD) has resulted for the fourth time, with the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission conferring reaccreditation. Abington was the first Department in Pennsylvania to achieve State accreditation and is one of only three departments out of over 1,100 State law enforcement agencies to have earned four reaccreditations.

The Department is distinguished for it's community policing best practices, solving problems, engaging diverse populations, and creating partnerships with citizens. Since 1998, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Community Policing Committee has recognized the best community policing practices of agencies around the world by bestowing upon them the Community Policing Award from IACP and Cisco. Entries are judged on featuring innovative ideas that utilize the power of community policing, through collaboration and partnerships, to make local, national, and global communities safer from crime and terrorism. The Abington Township Police Department was the 2013 winner for the population of 50,001 to 100,000 category, most notably for its Abington Youth Deterrence and Development Project.

Before the Abington Youth Deterrence and Development (AYDD) initiative, the Abington Police Department (APD) was structured to efficiently process and prosecute juvenile offenders, but had very few programs in place to proactively deter youth from delinquency, drugs, gangs, etc. The planning and team-building sessions in the police department, along with the dozens of meetings with the majority of groups and organizations in Abington, helped the APD to develop the AYYD Project.

To support this initiative, the APD sought and received the expertise of local universities to provide rigorous evaluation of current programs, determine concerns of the APD community, and help design new strategies to address youth-related crimes. The APD also partnered with the Abington School District to develop shared strategies and resources for the betterment of the community and its children. Leaders from the APD and the school district met with other youth-related organizations to develop and implement a plan to identify the most effective, proven, and deterrence-oriented programs.

Surveys of Abington youth, parents, and the community showed an exceptionally positive response. Within AYYD's first year, many communities and organizations began asking for presentations about the program or for assistance at replicating it in their community. After the first three years, the number of juveniles arrested for crimes had decreased by 14.8 percent and Part I crimes were down by 11.5 percent. The anonymous, self-reporting surveys from Abington youth showed that the programs were starting to have the desired affect at reducing a number of negative behaviors and tendencies among youth. The AYYD's structure quickly and effectively responds to constantly changing needs and opportunities facing the Abington community and is just as influential today, more than 15 years after its inception.

Moreover, the APD spearheaded Abington Township to become one of the first “No Place for Hate” communities in Pennsylvania in 2002. Not only pledging that "Abington will maintain a policy of zero tolerance for hate crimes..to do our best to interrupt prejudice and stop those who, because of hate, would hurt, harass, or violate the civil rights of anyone," the Department trains all personnel in human rights and maintains a Rapid Response Unit to proactively prevent and/or respond to incidents or such purported events. The Department has received honors from the Montgomery County Human Relations Advisory Council and the Willow Grove NAACP and many other regional and local organizations. The work of the “No Place for Hate” Committee and the Department's Community Policing Division lead to Abington Township's selection as the first recipient of the Anti Defamation League’s prestigious “Courageous Conversations Award” given annually to “a community that has demonstrated creativity and courage in engaging in dialogue about diversity.” The numerous other successful programs by the APD include the ATD's commitment to youth and other world-class community partnerships.