East Liverpool releases 2019 police performance stats

A city patrol vehicle sits outside the police station. Police Chief John Lane recently announced the year end statistics. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

EAST LIVERPOOL — For city residents who often complained that East Liverpool police officers focused on nothing else but operating the now defunct traffic camera program, they couldn’t have been more wrong. According to Police Chief John Lane, his department handled 12,430 calls in 2019, which amounts to at least one call per resident.

Chief Lane recently announced the statistics, which included 6,311 service calls; 1,077 report supplements; 4,335 incident reports; 246 crash reports; and 251 traffic citations.

Among the criminal and traffic charges levied, there was more than 99 theft calls filed with two of every three being for theft without consent. Other notable ones included 31 burglary or breaking and entering charges; 58 disorderly conduct with 48 of those being while intoxicated; and 46 drug paraphernalia charges.

East Liverpool isn’t much different than anywhere else that has ready access to substances like drugs and alcohol to abuse. They charged 62 persons with domestic violence last year, including 14 with a fourth-degree felony charge usually either saved for repeat offenders or suspects who are accused of attacking pregnant victims.

Whether it is individuals committing property crimes to support their habits, trafficking on the streets or inciting violence between a couple, Chief Lane said that drugs always seem to be the issue at the core. And, when officers turn their attention to one problem house in a neighborhood, the tenants usually move on to another, he concluded.

The police chief also provided a printout for the 2019 year, which shows Jesse Smith was the top department performer, handling 1,454 calls. This included 12 misdemeanor arrests, 50 traffic citations and 631 incident reports. James Savina, Christopher Green, John Headley, Jay Lane, Justin Watkins, Jonathan Kerchofer, Rob Smith, James Krawiec and Hunter Maze wrapped up the 10 top performing patrolmen.