Craig Police Department seeing rise in calls, not major crimes |

Craig Police Department seeing rise in calls, not major crimes

Scott Schlaufman

Recent statistics indicate the Craig Police Department has been busier this year than any time since 2007.

In the first two months of this year, the police department responded to 2,614 calls for service, compared to 2,189 through the first two months of last year.

While the increased numbers could be perceived as a rise in crime, Craig Police Commander Jerry DeLong doesn't believe that's the case.

"I think the biggest increase in numbers is the officers being proactive — doing security checks and traffic stops," DeLong said.

Numbers tend to support that belief.

In January, the police department conducted 159 security checks to buildings in the area, an increase of nearly 300 percent from the 47 made in January 2010.

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In February, 104 checks were made compared to 94 in 2010.

DeLong said the times and locations of security checks are at the discretion of the officers on duty. He said the service is potentially deterring crimes.

"I would think (it is) because if somebody leaves a business door open or something, we find it before someone else finds it," he said. "We can call the business owner and tell them they need to lock up."

There was also an increase in traffic stops, according to statistics.

In the first two months of the year, the police department made 680 stops, compared to 535 in the same time period of 2010.

"I think they have more time to be proactive," DeLong said of officers on duty.

For crimes including sexual assault, driving under the influence and theft, numbers didn't change dramatically from 2010 in either January or February.

In January, there were 24 more civil problems reported than in 2010, but the number in February went down.

DeLong also said that there were increases in code enforcement.

In January, there were 133 animal complaints, compared to 105 in 2010. In February, there were 137 compared to 99 in 2010.

February also had an increase in abandoned vehicle reports, with the number climbing from 17 in 2010 to 45 this year.

"Just by glancing over the numbers, for crime it doesn't appear we've had a big spike in any area," DeLong said. "I think just by looking at it, it appears that the officers, include code enforcement are being more proactive."

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