Illegal Firearms Tops List of Concerns for the NPD

Illegal firearms are one of the top concerns of the Naperville Police Department according to Chief of Police Jason Arres.
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Illegal firearms are one of the top concerns of the Naperville Police Department according to Chief of Police Jason Arres. There were a reported 84 firearm seizures and recoveries during the first half of 2022 according to data from the NPD. “I can’t give enough praise to the men and women who are willing to put the uniform on, being proactive and getting these guns off the street,” said Arres.

The numbers provided by the Naperville Police Department at Friday’s 2022 Mid-Year Crime Statistics presentation were incidents recorded from Jan. 1 to Jun. 30.

During the first six months of 2022, there have been 119 cases of fraud, 216 incidents of identity theft and 81 cases in which the victim was “scammed” which resulted in a total financial loss of $727,928. The average age of a scammed victim was 50-years-old. 

“It seems obvious but these folks are very good at scamming,” said Arres. “If you’ve never seen someone face-to-face, don’t send them money, whether it’s wire transfers or gift cards.”

Crimes Against Persons, Property and Society

This “microburst” of newsworthy incidents such as the fatal shooting of a hatchet-wielding man in June and and the two murders in January may give off the appearance that criminal activity is rising in Naperville. But the police chief affirmed the number of major crimes in the city continues to drop. 

There were 458 incidents of simple assault throughout Naperville, 30 cases of aggravated assault, 23 rape cases and two murders within the city.

In the first half of 2022 in Naperville, there were also 251 cases of identity theft, 128 vandalism and 219 drug/narcotic violations.

An example Arres gave referenced the staggering 290 burglaries in 1993. In the last few years, burglaries in Naperville have ranged from 130 to 150 per year.

Arres said the Naperville Police Department wants to be transparent with citizens, and knows the public has received an “information wave” of reported crimes as a result. 

Mental Health Incidents

From 2021 to 2022, there was a 14.9% decrease in total mental health incidents throughout the City of Naperville in the first half of the year. In 2022, there have been 40 incidents of attempted suicide and eight cases of suicide.

The Naperville Police Department employs three social workers and a counselor to assist officers de-escalating situations. If the police decide a situation will not become violent, the social workers or counselor will often enter the home with police officers and speak with those involved.

“I equate them to paramedics,” said Arres. “Paramedics don’t provide long-term care to patients, they triage someone who is in a medical emergency. That’s what our social workers and our counselor do. They’ll meet with the family if they’re on-call during the incident. and they’ll follow up when a crisis is not going on to ask what services they have in place and if the family member they were with that day has a treatment plan.”

Fleeing and Eluding

There have been 68 cases of fleeing and eluding from Naperville police cars in the first half of 2022, a steady increase from 2020 (13 cases) and 2021 (55 cases).

Due to a rise in these cases, Arres said he is proposing an ordinance that will assess a fine for any registered owner who’s vehicle flees from the police. The chief wants to recoup the cost of what the Naperville Police Department incurs to investigate that case criminally and administratively.

“When it was 15 to 19 cases a year, one a month, that wasn’t hard for us to manage as a police department, and as a staff,” said Arres. “When you’re getting over 10 a month, the amount that goes into a criminal investigation to follow up and administratively.


In June of 2021, the federal government required police departments around the county to change the way they counted and reported on crime statistics. 

The NPD had to transition from a Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system to a National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Previously with the UCR system, law enforcement agencies had to report nine categories of offenses, and only the most serious charge of an incident counted. 

Under the NIBRS, law enforcement agencies are required to report under 24 categories of offenses, and every offense in an incident is counted. NIBRS also counts victims and attempted crimes rather than incidents and completed crimes. 

The reporting differences between UCR and NIBRS led to an appearance that crime numbers have increased over the years. The NPD considers comparing crime numbers between these two formats to be “apples and oranges.” But the Chief affirmed these systems are only used for reporting crime, not charging suspects.

Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Will Payne.