Kearny crime rate continues to drop

KEARNY — The Kearny Police Department has released its Uniform Crime Report Index for 2017, and the stats show a 29.3% decrease in total serious offenses as compared with the previous year.

In 2016, the total tally in the eight major crime categories covered was 1,078.

Last year, the number dropped to 762. 

According to a statement posted on the town’s website, “The decrease continues a downward trend in reported crimes in recent years. Of note, the 2017 number is less than half of what was reported a decade ago in 2007.” 

The compilation is from the Uniform Crime Reports Unit of the N.J. State Police, to which every police department in the state submits statistics, usually on a monthly basis. Data are provided in the mandated categories of homicide, rape, robbery, assault (aggravated or involving a weapon), simple assault, burglary, larceny and motor-vehicle theft. 

The most common crime recorded in Kearny, in both ‘16 and ‘17, was larceny — but even that declined, from 603 to 503. There was also a 59.2% decrease in robberies: from 49 in ‘16 to 20 last year. 

The No. 2 spot in offense frequency went to simple assault (hands, fists, feet, etc.) but that, too, showed a dramatic drop — of 64.1%. The total for 2016 was 220 incidents; for 2017, it was 79. 

Other assaults (e.g., aggravated) totaled 29, compared with 34 in 2016. 

Burglaries — including attempted — also remained fairly static: 61 in ‘16, and 55 in ‘17. 

As for motor-vehicle thefts, they dropped from 109 to 74 — down by 32.1%.

In 2017, Kearny recorded one attempted rape, and tragically, one homicide, its first in four years. (On April 10, 2017, Luisa Cristina Reyna-Tello, 46, was stabbed to death in her Chestnut Street apartment.  Arrested and charged with the murder was Jose Castro-Lavado, 36, reportedly the father of her three children.)

A copy of the Uniform Crime Report Index can be found at, where it is also noted that, with the hiring of 10 new officers last year, the total number of uniformed personnel in the KPD is 107. 

“With a total population of 40,684 as of the 2010 census, there is one officer for every 380 residents in Kearny,” the website states.   

That is reassuring, but note also that, according to the post, the KPD responded to more than 30,000 calls during the course of 2017. Protect and serve, protect and serve, protect …

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