The yearly totals that now include the month of September 2006 showed an overall increase of 7.83% over the same period last year. This increase in our overall crime rate is still being driven by increases in robberies (up 139%) and aggravated assaults (up 37%). These are preliminary numbers compiled for this report only, and may be revised as we review crime data for our September UCR submission. Final figures should be available after October 7th.
As of the date of this report, we have filled four of our six vacancies. We have two applicants for the two remaining vacancies, and we are moving along with their background investigation process.
OFC Mike Halterlein is in his last week of field training, and I anticipate that he will be released to independent patrol as of Friday October 6th. OFC Crystal Goldring has completed her firearms training with the Prince George’s Municipal police academy. We are still awaiting a return from the FBI on her criminal background check. This is the only remaining obstacle to her being certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission and assigned to field training. OFC Kirk Banton has received his certification from the MPTC and has been assigned to field training under the supervision of SGT Williams and PFC Herriott. OFC Aaron Wilson has been assigned to assist CPL Kenworthy in our Brentwood Community Policing project until he reaches the age of 21 later this month.
We have hired Ms. Devonna Reddick as a police officer candidate effective October 2nd. Ms. Reddick is scheduled to enter the Prince George’s Municipal police academy on October 25th to begin her basic entrance level training. Until that date, she will serve as a parking enforcement officer for the City.
Our focused enforcement efforts in the Perry/Otis Street sector (which includes the City Hall Plaza) were successful in reducing the number of complaints and the reduction of robberies during the busy weekend crime times. As of September 30th, we will discontinue this CSAFE overtime detail and refocus our efforts in the 3300 block of Chillum Road and the Kaywood apartment complex. These areas have seen an increase in citizen robberies (3300 block of Chillum Road) and vandalism (Kaywood) over the past month.
We have revised our Team Policing assignments to reflect our staffing changes, and we have added a new Team Policing area, Team 3, which encompasses the Town of Brentwood. CPL Kenworthy is, of course, the team leader for Brentwood and he’s temporarily assisted by OFC Wilson. SGT Malley retains his assignment as problem oriented policing coordinator.
Effective Monday October 10th, our full time parking enforcement officer, Mike Davis, will become one of the City’s new Code Enforcement officers. The City Manager and I have agreed that Mr. Davis will continue to work parking enforcement, primarily on weekends, and also be responsible for collecting coins from all the City’s parking meters on Wednesdays. We will move to advertise and hire a new full time parking enforcement officer in the very near future. We are also finalizing the background investigation on a candidate for the administrative aide position. This position should be filled within the next two weeks.
As I reported to the Mayor & Council last month, we continue to operate at minimum staffing levels and will continue to do so at least through the fall. We will maintain scheduling with one supervisor and two officers on nights and one officer on days.
Vehicle Fleet/Budget Issues:
At the September 5th Council meeting, the Mayor & Council authorized a resolution to dispose of four police vehicles that are no longer serviceable for police patrol operations. These four vehicles were auctioned by Colonial Auction on September 23rd, and were sold for a combined $878. At the end of the first quarter of FY07 we are approximately 31% spent in our vehicle maintenance and repair line item.
After a wait of over six months, we anticipate taking possession of our 2007 Chevy Trailblazer by Friday October 6th. This vehicle was purchased with FY06 funds and will replace the department’s 1988 Jeep Cherokee. Once the Trailblazer is finally delivered, the Jeep will be used as a parking enforcement vehicle. We still anticipate delivery of the two FY07 funded police vehicles by the end of November.
Beginning in the month of September, the Chief’s Blog will now run a weekly listing of crime and arrest activities. This info will be posted by Tuesday of each week and will include incidents that occurred during the previous week (Sunday through Saturday). I have also begun to include my monthly report to the Mayor & Council and my monthly Message article on the Blog as well. I will be sending the final monthly crime statistics to our Webmaster for inclusion on the City’s web site.