The Columbus Police Department recently published its 2012 year-end report. The report details the accomplishments of our officers and support staff. It is truly an honor to lead such a fine group of dedicated men and women. The full report is available for download at www.columbus.in.gov/police under the document center tab.
Our goal is to provide all citizens with highly efficient and effective police services. To that end, a reorganization of our police department reduced administrative positions and combined our narcotic and detective divisions under one manager.
These changes resulted in more officers in enforcement roles, improved communication throughout our department, more efficient policing and improved service to the community.
We have embraced community policing strategies by partnering with you, our citizens, in an effort to reduce crime. We conduct “extra patrols” based on reports of suspicious activity, drug dealing, vandalism and traffic complaints that we receive from citizens. Our extra patrols increased by 374 percent this year as compared to last year.
Several of these extra patrols resulted in arrests, thereby reducing criminal activity in the area.
Our other community policing efforts resulted in increases in the following areas:
- Traffic stops: 12 percent
- 30 percent
- Finding open doors at night: 180 percent
The benefits of these proactive actions by our officers are a 14 percent decrease in property crimes reported last year along with decreases in both adult and juvenile arrests.
A disturbing trend on both the local and national drug scenes has been the increased abuse of prescription pills. One area of concern has been the increasing theft-of-medication reports, some of which are false. In an effort to obtain more pills, certain individuals will file false reports of stolen medication.
To deal with these and other issues, we appointed a full-time prescription drug fraud investigator. We also implemented a policy requiring any theft of medication to be reported in person to an officer. The complainant is required to sign a “Theft of Medication Affidavit” and meet personally with our prescription drug investigator. Our model has proven successful, with a 42 percent decrease in the number of false reports of medication theft.
Additionally, our prescription drug investigator filed 11 cases related to “drug diversion,” meaning cases in which prescription pills were diverted from their original, legitimate use for illegal distribution or consumption. These efforts save lives by preventing these pills from reaching our youth or others who may be vulnerable to accidental overdose.
2013 and beyond
Further reducing drug, property and violent crimes will continue to be our focus in 2013 as part of the city’s overall strategic plan. The progress we made in 2012 has provided a solid foundation for us. We will continue our efforts to reduce vehicle crashes in the city with increased education and enforcement, particularly in high crash areas.
The support from Mayor Kristen Brown, City Council members and our Board of Public Works and Safety members has those of us in the Columbus Police Department excited about our city’s future and our role in it.
Most importantly, our partnerships with community members are critical to safety and security. Please continue partnering with us in 2013 to help make Columbus the safest community of its size.
Jason Maddix is chief of the Columbus Police Department. He can be reached by phone at 376-2600 or by email at email@example.com.