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Local Police Data Paints a Law and Enforcement Picture

Lamar Police Chief Kyle Miller

Lamar Police Chief Kyle Miller

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, provided a statistical review of crime rates for the city based on statistics kept by the department since 1999.

There has been a fluctuation in the number of crimes, broken down by type, over the last few years. Miller said there has been a general trend downward until last year, when the numbers of crime calls began to increase slightly.

Miller referenced Part One crime, primarily theft, which is currently decreasing and according to new tracking changes with the introduction of Eforce software to the department, the projection for numbers will continue downward for the remainder of 2016. By the same token, numbers for trespass, controlled substance arrests and criminal mischief also have declined through 2016.

Chief Miller noted figures that showed an increase for controlled substances abuses, which, he explained, was part of a correlation between drug usage and associated thefts. “We’ve been using a technique that helps reduce store thefts when an owner doesn’t want to prosecute on a shoplifting event,” he said, explaining that a suspect will be trespassed from the store.  In effect, they are being told not to come back. “If they are caught again and it’s a second theft; that becomes a class 4 felony.”  Miller said some thefts are believed to derive from a drug dealer giving a client a shopping list for items from a store which will go towards a drug payment.  “We’re getting more cooperation from Wal-mart now, which uses a loss prevention person on their staff and they’ll put an immediate call to us while they hold that person.  It’s more efficient than reviewing video of the store that’s several days or weeks old.”

Chief Miller says the department is scheduling more patrols in current hot spots around the city. “We’ve broken the city into a grid of about eight areas and every time there’s an arrest or an incident, we note it.  When we see a trend developing, we’ll assign extra patrols to that grid.”  He said the department maintains a map for two weeks before beginning a new one.  The average number of calls for service averaged 44 a day in 2015 and there is just a slight increase this year to 45.1 calls.  Last year the department issued 1,125 citations.  The department keeps note of all calls received, not just those that are responded to.  Chief Miller explained that there were 12,012 such calls so far this year and in 2015 there were 16,046.  There were 5,400 calls that were responded to and assigned case numbers by officers making out their daily reports.  On a side note, Chief Miller mentioned that since the legalization of marijuana in the state, there has been an increase in DUIs, which is not always an alcohol related driving offense.

Concerning our local driving habits, the Chief provided statistics on radar data on Main Street traffic. “We had 9,260 motorists drive past the radar trailer on North Main Street in one week’s time,” he stated.  “The average speed was 31.2 mph and 16% were over the 35 mph speed limit.  He noted that that number of motorists was just one-way traffic.

Miller said he’ll continue to compile data on the department’s activities and make a presentation for the council later in the year.

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: City of LamarFeaturedHistoryHot TopicsLaw EnforcementPolice ReportPublic SafetyTransportation

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