There was a significant reduction in violent crime in Columbia during the first quarter of this year compared to the past two years.
There were two murders each during the first quarter last year and the year before, but in 2013 – none.
In fact, the Capital City remained homicide-free until mid-April.
Violent crime dropped nearly 30% percent from January through March – murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault.
And non-violent crimes saw a 15% decline – burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny and vehicle break-ins.
Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago says the department has used computers to study data and see where criminal activity has occurred most, plus to predict where it's most likely to happen.
He says that provides a chance to beef up patrols and manpower in certain areas ahead of time.
And Santiago says more residents are helping police by reporting crimes that occur and calling Crimestoppers.