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March 06, 2014
GROSSE POINTE WOODS — It was the kind of report Andrew Pazuchowski likes to give and the city council likes to hear.

Pazuchowski, the city's director of public safety, presented the department's annual report to the council at its Monday night meeting. The report showed a 14 percent decline in crime for 2013 and the chief was quick to credit the public safety officers.

"I have to hand it to the guys," he told the council. "They are spending as much time as possible on the road, and their presence is making a difference."

Pazuchowski explained officers are using computers in their patrol cars to write reports, meaning they are spending less time in the station.

"You will see squad cars in parking lots or on the street, and the men are actually doing their reports in their cars," he explained. "They are even spending their break times in their cars. It's making a difference."

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Statistics for 2013 include 208 "index" crimes, meaning serious crimes including homicide, assault and robbery, and 385 non-index crimes, for a total of 593 crimes, down from 689 in 2012.

Pazuchowski pointed out the biggest drop was in larceny, which historically has been the most significant crime in the Woods. Those numbers showed a 17 percent drop, from 169 in 2012 to 140 in 2013. He also pointed to a significant drop in auto thefts, with 19 thefts reported in 2013 compared with 46 in 2012. He specifically noted the dramatic drop in stolen vehicles from the St. John Hospital parking lot, with only one theft being reported in 2013.

"This decrease was largely due to the special attention that St. John's security has been giving to the north parking lot areas as well as increased patrols by Woods public safety officers," he said.

Pazuchowski also pointed to the increased use of auxiliary officers, and especially their role in monitoring vacant houses and foreclosed properties, as well as the use of bike patrols in warmer months.

Fourteen fires were reported in 2013, up one from 2012.

City administrator Skip Fincham also told the council the Woods was recently named the 13th safest community in the state, based on a report by a state-wide real estate association. The study ranked 102 cities, based on the number of violent crimes, property crimes and the chances a resident would be a victim of a crime. That report was based on 2012 crime statistics.

Mayor Robert Novitke praised Pazuchowski and his officers.

"We have exemplary leadership in the department," he said, "and we are asking you to do more with less."

Pazuchowski again praised his officers.

"I give the guys a lot of credit, and I'm very proud of them," he said.

The annual report is available on the Woods website, gpwmi.us.

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