ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department announces the publication of the 2020 Annual Report which celebrates the agency’s 80 years of service to the Arlington community. The report showcases the accomplishments of the Department and its personnel throughout the year in support of our key initiatives of crime prevention and control, transportation safety and community engagement. These initiatives were adopted in 2016 to guide staff as we continue to deliver professional police services to the community.
“2020 was a challenging and unprecedented year,” said, Chief Andy Penn. “Throughout the global pandemic, the dedicated officers and support staff of the Arlington County Police Department continued to provide essential law enforcement services in support of our mission of improving quality of life through crime prevention. They also sought opportunities to continue advancing best practices in alignment with 21st century policing strategies. As we continue these advancements, the agency remains fully committed to proactively engaging and partnering with the community to build trust and ensure police services reflect the values of the Arlington community.”
The Annual Report is the official release of crime and traffic statistics by the Department for the preceding year and provides an overview of multi-year trends in both categories. Year-end crime statistics are submitted to Virginia State Police in March, based upon the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Incident-Based Reporting System format. Investigative updates, as well as the re-classification of cases, can occur throughout the year, making the data dynamic as amendments are made. The most updated data, which may not be consistent with what is included in this report, is available on the Virginia State Police website.
Crime in Arlington County remained relatively constant for Group A Offenses, and declined for Group B Arrests in 2020. Crime remains within the standard range of five-year trends for both categories and below historical peaks in offense totals reported in 2016. The total number of offenses, as well as the violent crime rate (offenses per 100,000 persons) remain below the 2020 Virginia average, and below the most-recent FBI Uniform Crime Report. The use of online reporting increased 31.5% from 2019 in 2020, now accounting for almost 36% of all case reports.
Annual Report Highlights
- Advancement of best practices in law enforcement by implementing programs and initiatives in support of 21st century policing strategies
- Strengthening officer wellness programs in support of employee physical and mental health
- Annual Crime Statistics – while the overall crime rate remained relatively constant, reported crimes against persons offenses rose 9%, primarily driven by increases in assaults
- Annual Traffic Statistics – the number of recorded collisions, including multi-modal crashes, decreased in 2020 as traveler volume declined due to COVID-19 restrictions
- Overview of the ongoing opioid crisis in Arlington and available resources and programs
- Launch of the Homeless Outreach Program to improve safety and quality of life concerns for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable members
- Community engagement and traffic safety program highlights