Gloversville arrests increase in ’12
GLOVERSVILLE – The city Police Department made more arrests and received more calls for service in 2012 than it did in 2011, according to a year-end report from Police Chief Donald VanDeusen.
Domestic-violence reports, cases of driving while intoxicated and assault crimes increased by more than 10 percent last year, the report shows.
VanDeusen said police responded to 1,391 calls about domestic-violence in 2012. The number increased by 31 percent, from 1,058 investigations in 2011.
Complaints of family disputes and domestic violence were the second-most reported offense in 2012, the report showed, trailing only disorderly conduct calls, which totaled 1,674, up by 12 percent over 2011.
Overall, the Police Department reported 1,273 arrests in 2012, compared to 811 in 2011, a 57 percent increase.
Assault complaints increased from 41 reported in 2011 to 48 reported in 2012, an increase of 17 percent.
The department closed about 9.5 percent of its calls for service by arrest, compared to about 6.7 percent in 2011, according to the Police Department report.
“I am pretty proud that we have increased our arrest totals this year and the ability to close our calls for service,” VanDeusen said. “I think we are doing a better job in those areas right now. We are also getting a lot of suggestions and information from people in the city, which definitely helps.”
VanDeusen attributed the arrest increase to the department’s attempt to become more efficient in the handling of complaints by residents of the city.
“Although 2012 saw an increase in the amount of calls for service compared for 2011, it also saw a decrease in the amount of serious and violent crime in the city,” VanDeusen wrote.
VanDeusen said the Police Department saw a significant decrease in reports of burglary in 2012, with a decline of 22 percent, and a decrease in criminal mischief, showing a 21 percent drop, according to the year end report.
VanDeusen said the new department philosophy and visual presence within the city are tied to the decrease in burglary and criminal mischief.
“We are trying to become more involved within the community,” VanDeusen said. “I truly believe if an individual is out intending to commit a crime and are either stopped and interviewed by an officer or know that an officer sees them in a particular area, they probably won’t commit a crime in that area.”
The year-end report said the department investigated 171 reports of burglary in 2011. The number decreased to 133 in 2012.
“I think we created more calls for service this year in the amount of traffic stops we made and other self-initiated activity because of our desire to be more visible out there,” VanDeusen said.
He said officers are speaking with more residents on the street to get a feel for what is going on, conducting field interviews and gathering information.
He said most people appreciate the department’s efforts.
The department’s biggest increase from previous years was the 134 percent increase in the total number of traffic stops. In 2012, the number was 1,422, compared to 607 in 2011.
The stops allowed the department to issue 1,118 traffic tickets in 2012, compared to 589 in 2011, increasing the total by about 90 percent.
The police also issued more parking tickets in 2012, increasing the total by more than 20 percent compared to the previous year.
“I think as the city continues to change and traffic patterns change, the department will expect to see an increase in traffic stops. We just have to be prepared to react to it,” VanDeusen said.
He said the total could grow even more this year with the construction of the new Walmart store at the end of South Kingsboro Avenue.
The department also made several promotions in 2012.
The included: VanDeusen was promoted to chief; Anthony Clay was promoted to the captain of the Detective Division; Michael Jory was promoted to the rank of detective sergeant; Michael Calbet was promoted to the rank of detective; and Michael Scott was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
The department now stands at its full complement of 30 sworn members.
Last year, two officers every month on a rotating basis attended response-to-active- shooter training put on by the Department of Homeland Security in Rome.
This training is designed to improve the officers’ ability to respond to any acts of violence that may occur in public settings or schools, VanDeusen said.
“This trains our officers how to respond to that scenario where they are the first on the scene and shots have been fired,” VanDeusen said. “I think it is really important for our officers to be prepared for something like that.”
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.