The most populated town in Monmouth County and 4th most at the Jersey Shore (trailing Lakewood with 102,915 residents, Toms River with 92,191 residents and Brick with 74,712 residents) had the lowest crime rate for 2019 for towns with populations of 50,000 residents or more according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, shared by Middletown Township Police Chief Craig Weber on Monday.

Middletown has a current population of 65,469 residents.

Most of the offenses as of 2020 in Middletown are for Larceny.

Chief Weber said that the UCR calculates the crime rate based upon the number of incidents of Part I crimes that are reported per 1,000 residents in communities.

Last year, the crime rate in Middletown was 5.75 according to the FBI which is the lowest crime rate in Middletown since the UCR was first started.

The UCR report uses recent numbers between 2009 and 2019 that show crime in Middletown has dropped about 55% in that span which includes a 7.5% reduction between 2018 and 2019.

Chief Weber explained that the statistics are based on Part I crimes, which include Murder, Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny, Auto Theft and Arson.

“This noteworthy achievement is attributable in large part to the dedication and professionalism of our police officers and civilian staff," Chief Weber said in prepared remarks. "Our agency’s proactive approach in targeting crime coupled with our commitment to community engagement has proven to be an effective strategy in reducing crime. The outstanding relationship we enjoy with our residents and the steadfast support from our governing body greatly assists us in our mission to safeguard our community.”

Chief Weber cites a number on initiatives that help keep crime down and the community safe including during the recent stretch of the last decade noted by the FBI's report.

Middletown Police offer community programs and outreach initiatives including child safety seat installations, Police Youth Week camps, Police Explorers, Project Plus, Rude Awakening and the Law Enforcement Against Drugs program which Chief Weber says utilizes the Too Good for Drugs curriculum in the Township’s elementary schools.

The Middletown Police Department has also been recognized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for being one of only 10 law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and one of 313 nationwide to complete the Missing Kids Readiness Project, which promotes best practices for taking and responding to calls of missing and sexually exploited children.

Middletown Police also has a designated anti-crime unit which addresses and responds more quickly to illegal activity as well as a Community Relations Bureau "which is an important component in preventing crime and fostering positive relationships with the community."

Mayor Tony Perry in Middletown is proud of the recognition of the police department.

“These statistics showcase the professionalism of the men and women of our world-class Police Department,” Mayor Perry said in a statement. “Middletown is continually recognized as one of the safest places to live because of their dedication and community-oriented approach to policing.”

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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