DeKalb down on crime, up on traffic safety issues


A side of a DeKalb police officer presenting the DeKalb Police Department badge. The DeKalb Police 2022 Annual Crime Report highlighted a decrease in violent crimes compared to 2021. (Northern Star File Photo)

By Rachel Cormier, News Reporter

DeKALB – The DeKalb Police Department issued its 2022 annual crime report, finding a decrease in violent crimes from 2021, whereas traffic safety issues have increased dramatically.

The city saw an increase in traffic violations of almost 1,000 citations, from 2,208 citations in 2021 to 3,661 traffic ordinances in 2022.

“I think every one of us has had a resident talk about speeding in my (their) neighborhood; number one issue, we hear you, and we communicate it to the chief all the time,” DeKalb Mayor Cohen Barnes said. “But, ultimately what it came down to was if they (PD) had the time to do it.”

The City of DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd said that this year the department was able to station more officers to traffic stops from requests from DeKalb citizens.

“We are now able to make more proactive traffic stops,” Byrd said. “We weren’t able to do that last year because we were having so many calls of service.”

The year saw a slight decrease in violent crimes with 125 cases of violent assault compared to the 174 cases that occurred in 2021.

The total crimes against persons for 2022 was 1,299, down 10.5% compared to 2021.

Those crimes are known as Group A offenses, according to the DeKalb PD, and consist of cases of murder, assault or cases of non-consensual sexual offenses.

Crimes against property, including the highest offenses such as larceny, destruction of property and fraud, had 2,016 cases this year, which decreased by 244 cases from last year.

In September 2022, a program initiated by the Illinois State Police, called the FOID Compliance Grant, funded the DeKalb Police Department program to conduct 26 Firearm Owners Identification checks on individuals who have had their FOID cards suspended or revoked.

A FOID card is an Illinois resident’s identification to legally possess firearms or ammunition.

The DeKalb PD confiscated 10 invalid FOID cards along with six firearms, from September to December 2022. The firearms were transferred to lawful FOID cardholders and taken into custody.

Future plans for the DeKalb Police Department include adding drones to its technology department by 2023, which would assist with missing persons cases and provide aerial shots for crime scenes and accidents, according to the report.

“We’re going to see the purchase of drones in the near future,” Byrd said. “Technology is a very important part of public safety.”


2022 was also the year the DeKalb Police Department collaborated with the City of DeKalb to complete the transfer of ownership of the residential housing complex “Ridgebrook” to another property owner after years of dramatic rise and falls in police service involving the property since 2017.

The complex consists of three apartment buildings at 808 Ridge Drive, 832 Ridge Drive and 835 Edgebrook Drive. The complexes are owned by Hunter Properties. The property owners had been negligent to numerous unpaid Crime-Free Initiative violations and building code citations. The DeKalb City Council decided in 2021 to sell the complex to a more responsible property manager.

A graph in the annual report showed the largest number of calls the police department received in 2020 with 804 calls to the police department in the third quarter of the year.

Previous years presented a steady increase of calls where spikes in the graph included the largest reasoning behind the calls. 

For instance, the highest number of calls in 2019 reached almost 500 calls due to an increase of shootings and other crimes at 832 Ridge Drive during the second quarter.

This year, the sale and implementation of security measures for the complex were completed along with improvements in tenant screenings, which has led to fewer calls for the DeKalb Police Department, according to the report.

Residents can access the DeKalb PD 2022 annual crime report at the City of DeKalb website.