Date of release: January 8, 2021
2020 was a difficult year by any standard. But one positive that has emerged is the fact that crime reports in the City of Paducah dropped significantly from recent years.
Paducah police officers had to adjust the way they policed. Hand sanitizer and face masks became standard issued property. But despite the changes and challenges, they continued to serve the citizens of and visitors to the city, answering nearly 52,000 calls for service in 2020.
Paducah officers completed 2,726 crime reports in 2020, the lowest number in recent memory. That number is a 17 percent drop from 2019. Statewide, crime reports fell by only nine percent in 2020.
Similarly, Paducah saw a 17 percent reduction in collisions within the city limits. The number dropped by 325, with the bulk of those reported in the area of Hinkleville Road and Interstate 24. The majority of collisions reported were “rearend” crashes, indicating a continued lack of attention on the part of drivers.
Part 1, or major crime, was down overall by 23 percent, with the decrease led by significant drops in robberies and thefts. The Paducah Police Department investigated three homicides in the city in 2020. Reported burglaries and vehicle thefts were up slightly, as were aggravated assaults. However, minor assaults, drug offenses and other lesser offenses (disorderly conduct, forgery, fraud, etc.) dropped, and shoplifting reports were down by nearly 50 percent.
“Crime statistics determined by Paducah’s population can be misleading,” said Chief of Police Brian Laird. “Although our population is approximately 25,000, we are home to two of the largest medical centers in western Kentucky and a regional destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.”
It is estimated that Paducah’s population swells to around 100,000 during the day, and often higher during festivals and special events. As a result, our crime and collision statistics can be likened to those of a much larger city.
“We realize that efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 have affected our numbers this year,” Laird said. “Business closures and people staying home have caused our crime and collision numbers to drop. That is most evident in the drastic drop in shoplifting reports – from 507 in 2019 to 260 in 2020.
“Regardless, we hope to maintain these lower numbers through 2021. Our goal is to continue providing a safe environment for residents and visitors to enjoy all that Paducah has to offer.”