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Police calls up 30 percent in three years
Even with higher volume, response times drop
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Calls for service have never been higher for McMinnville Police Department, yet officers are answering calls much faster, according to information released Tuesday by the department in its annual report.
The report says McMinnville officers answered 23,765 calls in 2013, an average of 65 per day. That’s up 10.6 percent from last year and an increase of 32.9 percent over the past three years.
Yet despite increased call volume, officers are responding much faster, a response time average of 2.88 minutes in 2013. That’s better than the 4.49 minute response time in 2012.
“The main thing is, and I’m sure people have noticed this, is our guys are very mobile and visible around town,” said Police Chief Bryan Denton. “Another thing that helps that number is our detectives are now going out and answering calls during high-volume times.”
Service calls can be anything requiring response from a police officer. Said Denton, “This can be an elderly person falling in their home or a serious traffic accident.”
As for why the call volume has risen so dramatically over the past three years, Denton credits a campaign where residents are encouraged to call 668-7000 to report information.
“A lot of times people are reluctant to call 911 unless it’s a life-threatening emergency,” said Denton. “But if they call 668-7000, it goes to the same people, only to a different line. We want people to call because that information is important and often helps us solve a crime.”
Another notable aspect of the report is the 23.6 percent increase in traffic citations. The number of citations in 2013 rose to 5,011, which is up from 4,055 in 2012.
“The goal is to make motorists more aware of the road and be better drivers to avoid traffic accidents,” said Denton. “A large part of the increase comes from where we’ve given out citations following a traffic accident like a citation for running a red light or following too close.”
Traffic crashes were up 14.6 percent to 738 in the city limits.
The number of arrests inside the city limits finally reversed its upward trend. After three straight years of increases, the number of arrests dropped 5.6 percent to 877. There were 917 arrests in 2012.
In other stats included in the report:
• There were seven rapes
• There were 989 criminal cases investigated by a detective. Of those cases, 370 were cleared.
• The most commonly investigated cases (342) were thefts.
• McMinnville Police Department, in conjunction with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, conducted 108 undercover drug buys from 71 defendants.
• McMinnville Police Department operates on a $3.2 million budget.