BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — On Wednesday evening, the Bloomington Police Department hosted a community meeting and presentation.
Sergeant John Fermon gave an update on crime so far in 2022. Bloomington has seen four homicides and around 11 shootings.
A nationally increasing crime affecting Bloomington is the theft of catalytic converters. Sergeant Fermon said the department reported 40 to 50 thefts.
“What we want to highlight is that Mitsubishi Outlanders account for about 50% of our reported catalytic converter thefts, so that’s one if you have a Mitsubishi Outlander, and the second is a Toyota Prius, so if you have these two vehicles, I would say you are a major target right now,” Fermon said.
He added that some preventative measures include: keeping doors locked, keeping cars parked in well-lit areas, and keeping a camera on your vehicle or inside, to help catch thieves. However, he said these measures do not always deter someone from committing the crime.
Sergeant Fermon also presented new information regarding the automatic license plate reading cameras that are coming to town. The department creates a webpage, answering some of the frequently asked questions from the public regarding the cameras.
“We’ve put together a website, which hopefully will go live in the next week or so, once we’ve put the finishing touches on it, that it’s just a plethora of information, and we’ll post also updates, we will try to update people when we use them and then highlight some, I would say crimes, or arrests that have been made through them,” Fermon said.
Police Chief Jamal Simington also outlined his goals for 2022, including reducing fear of crime, improving quality of life in neighborhoods, maintaining advances in law enforcement technologies and strengthening and diversifying the workforce.
Some of them, he said, the department is already working on.
“We have priorities in place for some of these goals that we want to achieve, some of them are achieved faster than others, but it’s an ongoing process, so that we can take advantage of technology, labor etc. we can make improvements on a regular basis is part of our focus,” said Simington.
Chief Simington and Sergeant Fermon highlighted the the department’s transparency page, found on the City of Bloomington’s website, as a resource available to the community.