Township police reports at two-year low

CALCUTTA – The number of reports filed with the St. Clair Township Police Department in 2013 is the lowest amount since 2011.

Police chief Don Hyatt presented trustees with his departments “yearly comparison activity report” during Tuesday’s meeting.

The statistics showed what type of incidents officers responded to and compares the stats to years past, dating back to 2008. On the whole, the report showed that, in 2013, major incidents such as burglaries (17), traffic crashes (422), and fights (9) were down from 2012. There were 422 total incident reports in 2013, down from 446 in 2012. Arrests also dropped slightly in 2013, with 712 compared to 2012’s total of 734.

Hyatt told trustees he thought the drop in many categories was due to an increase in manpower in his department, along with better work scheduling.

“I think there’s a direct link to manpower,” said Hyatt. “I’m pretty happy with the number of guys we have.”

A few categories, such as obstruction of justice incidents, traffic stops and drug activity rose slightly in 2013, nonetheless the stats showed a decrease in crime across most other categories.

Hyatt noted the statistics are compiled by the department’s computer system which categorizes and and compiles officer’s reports. He said there is a slight margin of error due to the system sometimes incorrectly categorizing reports.

The chief said private property crashes are no longer tallied in the yearly report. He said that in 2013, his department adopted a two-part form, similar to one used by the Boardman Police Department. Hyatt told trustees he stopped compiling private property crashes on the computer system because the state no longer wants the reports.

“The bottom line is, while these (yearly reports) are accurate they don’t include everything,” said Hyatt.