Edgerton’s crime index is down from last year, according to Brad Johnson, deputy Johnson County Sheriff’s office.
Edgerton contracts directly with the sheriff’s department annually. The current contract is for $462,419;  of that, $132,538 is specifically for the power shift, said Kara Banks, public information officer. Johnson was added as a community policing officer in response to a citizen survey which asked for more of a police presence.
“He covers the residential part of Edgerton for 40 hours per week,” Banks said. “Outside of his shift, we have regular patrols from the Sheriff’s Office.” One of Johnson’s priorities enforcing the speed limit in the school zone around Edgerton Elementary.
“We’re hearing fewer complaints about ATVs and people speeding through our streets and seeing fewer crimes overall. People know they can come to him for help.  He’s accessible and engaged with our residents,” Banks said.
Johnson gave a presentation to the Edgerton City Council Sept. 24 and said Edgerton ranked at eight percent on the annual Crime Index, which is down from 12 percent last year. The Crime Index is created annually to inform the public where an area ranks in safety.
Because Edgerton does not have its own police department it is usually included in the Johnson County average, but Johnson said Edgerton’s eight percent rank is below Gardner, which is 11 percent.
The data Johnson collected was from the beginning of 2020 thru the end of July and is compared to statistics from 2019. The ranking includes Edgerton and the LPKC, which is within the city limits.
Under “Group A” crimes, which are those against persons and property, there has been a drastic change, Johnson said.
The percentage numbers are low compared to other cities in the county. Johnson said the number of reported battery crimes stays pretty constant. There were five reports of forcible sex offenses in 2019, and those individuals were arrested. None have been reported in 2020.
Most of the reports of criminal damage to property have been juveniles who have not been in school and got bored, Johnson said. Most of those cases have been resolved.
Theft has dropped considerably as two people in town were committing most of the crimes and have been caught, Johnson said.
Drug and narcotics charges have increased, and Johnson said this was because deputies are catching the perpetrators.
He explained drug and narcotics charges are up to forty-five (45 ) cases. In all of 2019 there were 43 drug cases, and it is up to 45 cases as of the end of July, so the drugs are coming off the streets.
“Group B” offenses are crimes against society. He said these cases are drunk driving, ordinance violations and failure to appear warrants and similar crimes. Overall, there is an increase of 49 compared from 2019.
Johnson stated the sheriff’s presence in LPKC has been low as they have not had the resources for inspection and weight checks. Johnson said he is now a certified commercial vehicle inspector and is certified to weigh trucks to see if they are over weight. More scales will be needed. A fine schedule is being drafted.
Johnson said he patrols the one square mile that is residential Edgerton. He said he has recovered five stolen vehicles and two stolen.
From January 1, 2019 to July 31, 2019, there were 164 citations written in Edgerton. In the same time frame for 2020, 317 citations have been issued and that is without any traffic stops for two months due to the pandemic.
Many of the traffic stops are drivers who are not from Edgerton, Johnson said. His biggest complaint is drivers not stopping at stop signs. He said he has issued 26 stop sign tickets and many warnings. Out of those 317 citations, 262 tickets have been written by Johnson.
Johnson said there have been only three injury accidents in Edgerton.