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In 2010, there was one homicide in Donaldsonville. In 2011, there were two homicides. In 2012 there were none. In 2013, there were two. And so far in 2014, there are already three. Does 2014’s increases make Donaldsonville any less of a safe place to live? The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office says no.
“Donaldsonville has been a safe city to live in, it is a safe city to live in, and it’s going to be a great safe city to live in far into the future,” APSO Lt. Col. Bobby Webre said, to the Donaldsonville Rotary Club on Sept. 11.
Webre informed the club there is a Uniform Crime Report in the National Database where police can get a crime index. In that report, Webre compares Donaldsonville to cities like Ponchatoula and Franklin.
The crime statistics in the report are either violent crimes or property crimes.
According to Webre, the report for 2012 shows zero homicides, nine forcible rapes, 18 robberies, 72 aggravated assaults, 112 burglaries, 370 larceny thefts, and six motor-vehicle thefts, which also includes golf carts, motorcycles, and ATVs.
For the compared cities of Franklin and Ponchatoula in the same year: there were no murders; Franklin had one forcible rape and Ponchatoula had two; Franklin had nine robberies, Ponchatoula had 17; Franklin had 63 aggravated assaults, and Ponchatoula had 53; Franklin had 108 burglaries, Ponchatoula had 189; Larceny thefts for Franklin at 304 and Ponchatoula at 312.
“Those numbers are close,” Webre said.
On a crime index with a per capita of 1,000 citizens, in a city with a little over 7,400 living in city limits, there is a 1.2 chance out of 1,000 that a person living in Donaldsonville is going to be a victim of forcible rape. On a robbery there’s a 2 in 1,000 chance that you could be a victim in Donaldsonville. Aggravated Assault, 10 people in 1,000 have a chance of victim in Donaldsonville. Burglary is 15 out of 1,000 could be victim. Larceny theft is 49 in 1,000.
“You can take these numbers and compare it to cities your size and be very proud or at least very comfortable when people talk about Donaldsonville being an unsafe place to live,” Webre said.
APSO Chief Deputy Tony Bacala added to the reassurance saying the larceny theft numbers are high, but 150 of them are probably Wal-Mart shoplifters, “so remember we’re not talking about individual people being robbed.”
“Everyday somebody is trying to take something from a store,” Bacala said. “That’s not taking from me or you.”
Bacala added that when the APSO sees problems or increases “we address them.”
“When we have problems you’ll see extra attention,” Bacala said. “You don’t see it and I’ll tell you right now we’ve been doing a lot of undercover in Donaldsonville. We’re going to get some of these bad guys behind bars.”
“We know who the bad guys are in Donaldsonville and we’re going to put them in jail.”
As far the most recent homicide in Donaldsonville, 15-year-old Brandon Augusta, Webre said the APSO is confident the case will be solved.
“Although an arrest has not been made, we have suspects and a lot of good evidence to process,” Webre said. “We’ve come a long way in law enforcement and we have a lot of DNA evidence in the lab that’s being processed. We have some physical evidence that’s being processed as well.”