Maybe it was pandemic-induced stress, maybe other factors, but those in Arlington appear to have been far more likely to find themselves beaten up or otherwise assaulted in 2020 than a year before, according to new data from the Arlington County Police Department.
Police made a total of 210 arrests for aggravated assault during the year, up 40 percent from 2019, and 906 arrests for simple assault, up 10 percent. Add them up, and total assault arrests were up just under 15 percent.
But overall, major crime was relatively flat in 2020 compared to a year before, with the total number of “Group A” arrests standing at 7,990, virtually unchanged from 7,986 in 2019. In addition to assaults, Group A crimes include murder, manslaughter, abduction, kidnapping, sex offenses, intimidation and human trafficking.
Figures are based on data transmitted to the Virginia State Police. Among various types of crimes:
• There were three murder/manslaughter arrests in 2020, up from two a year before.
• There were 117 arrests for robbery, up from 98, and 150 arrests for burglary, down from 158.
• Larceny arrests for 2020 totaled 2,729 compared to 2,750 a year before.
• Arrests for theft of motor vehicles totaled 323, up from 227.
• Weapons-violation arrests stood at 106 vs. 92 in 2019.
• Arrests for sex offenses totaled 93, down from 130.
• Arrests for drug offenses declined from 1,104 in 2019 to 939 in 2020.
• There were 13 arrests for prostitution, up from 10.
During the year, the Arlington County Police Department fielded more than 58,000 calls for service, issued nearly as many parking citations/warnings, dealt with just over 1,500 vehicle crashes and issued about 26,000 traffic citations/warnings.
The department, which had 353 sworn officers, eight auxiliary officers and 98 support personnel, said goodbye to Police Chief Jay Farr, who retired in September 2020 after 30 years of service in the department, including five as chief. It also bid adieu to William “Smokey” Stover, who died on April 17, 2020, at age 89. Stover was on the police force from 1956-96, serving as chief from 1978 until his retirement.