A recent report on local crime statistics shows the burglary recovery rate in Dawson County is significantly higher than the national average.
"Right now, if you look at the national FBI statistics for the Southeast, they say the national average is a 13 percent solve rate," said Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle. "We have an almost 34 percent solve rate, so we're almost three times as high as what the national average is."
Of the 97 burglaries reported in 2011, investigators closed 33 cases and recovered nearly $83,000 of the $121,000 in stolen items.
"We're not at 100 percent, but we're working toward that," Carlisle said. "Not only are the arrests high, but people are getting their stuff back."
Carlisle said he made reducing crime a top priority in 2011 and implemented a number of departmental changes, including the creation of a crime suppression unit, early in the year to meet the goals.
Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten said the agency essentially "got back to the basics."
"We looked at areas that have been historically problematic or have become problems recently and we use our officers, everyone we can as an agency, to combat that," he said.
"The biggest thing for us is we're looking at every crime that comes to Dawson County and what we can do to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Wooten said the rate of entering auto reports also dropped significantly in 2011 due to an increased presence.
"That's because we had people out patrolling and watching those areas," Wooten said.
Carlisle said he plans to build on the department's successes by continuing the effort to crack down on crime in 2012.
"Now that we see this works, we're going to build on that by utilizing the resources we have, our officers and giving them the training they need to be successful," he said.
Wooten said deputies "take great pride in knowing that our numbers are being lowered."
"Not only do they take pride in the ones they've closed, they're really upset about the ones they haven't been able to stop," he said.