Annual Report 2012
The Pulaski Police Department was the fifty-eighth law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). A law enforcement agency being awarded accredited status, demonstrates that the organization is in compliance with professional standards of operation as promulgated by the Commission. The department received its first accreditation on
November 16, 2006 and received its first reaccreditation on December 2, 2010.
The employees listed below received special recognition for outstanding service during 2012.
Officer of the Year and Town Employee of the Year:
Sergeant J. D. Saul
Individual Unit Officers of the Year:
Officer J. W. Stone
Officer S. J. Riggins
Sergeant J. D. Saul
Detective R. M. Anderson
Dispatcher L. J. Landry
Records Manager E. D. Newman
Life Saving Award:
Lieutenant M. R. Hudson
Sergeant J. D. Saul
Corporal W. A. Ratcliff
Officer R. E. Gillenwater
Most Arrests (tie):
Officer S. J. Riggins
Officer J. P. Bowden
Most Seat Belt/ Child Restraint Violation Summonses:
Officer J. W. Stone
Most Selective Enforcement Citations:
Officer J. W. Stone
Most DUI Arrests (tie):
Officer S. J. Riggins
Office J. P. Bowden
Summary of Criminal Offenses and Calls for Service Activity
The agency investigated 1,053 Group A (serious felony, i.e. burglary, arson, assault, drugs, homicide, etc.) offenses during the past year. This figure represents a decrease of reported criminal acts of 122 offenses or 11.35% when compared to calendar year 2011. Personnel solved 436 of these crimes resulting in a clearance rate of 41.41%.
The Department responded to 17,761 Calls for Service in 2012 with an overall average response time of 1.82 minutes per call. Response time represents the elapsed time from when the Communications Center initially receives the complaint, their notification of the assigned patrol officer(s), and the amount of time required for the first officer to arrive at the location of the incident. The average time period that officers devoted to each call was 21.78 minutes.
SUMMARY OF DIVISION ACTIVITIES
UNIFORM PATROL DIVISION
A sample and the number of some of the types of incidents that the Uniform Patrol Division responded to last year included: 137 domestic disturbances, 335 welfare checks on citizens, 434 business escorts, 222 bank/burglar alarms, 7 robberies, 588 larceny complaints, 329 fights, 123 threats, 8 malicious wounding, 183 property damage/vandalism complaints, 587 motorists assisted, 39 shots fired calls, 1,329 suspicious persons/vehicles, and 55 burglaries. Officers also served 119 Emergency Custody and Temporary Detention Orders for mental illness and made numerous transports to mental illness facilities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Patrol officers issued 1,579 traffic summonses and 668 warning tickets. In addition, officers served 381 arrest warrants and 7 criminal summonses and accounted for a total of 941 persons arrested on a total of 1,371 criminal charges. The Special Weapons and Tactics Team was called out eleven times during the year.
In 2012, the Patrol Division responded to a total of 236 motor vehicle accidents. Seventy-one of these traffic crashes were reportable to the Division of Motor Vehicles with 29 of these accidents involving personal injuries. Driver actions that contributed to reportable traffic accidents were identified as:
Did not have right of way 19 (26.76%)
Following too closely 9 (12.68%)
Failure to maintain proper control 18 (25.36%)
Disregard Stop or Yield sign 2 (2.82%)
Driver Distraction 0
No improper action 5 (7.05%)
Disregard traffic signal 3 (4.23%)
Avoiding Animal 2 (2.82%)
Hit & Run 2 (2.82%)
Improper turn from wrong lane 1 (1.21%)
Wrong side of road-not overtaking 2 (2.82%)
Improper or unsafe lane change 1 (1.41%)
Avoiding other vehicle 0
Other 8 (11.27%)
In addition, five of the reportable crashes above involved a driver that was determined to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION
In the year 2012, Detectives and Patrol Officers cleared 436 serious offenses by arrest. Fifty-one additional cases were solved by a means other than arresting the perpetrator resulting in a clearance rate of 46.2%. They also assisted other communities with crimes within their jurisdictions that resulted in cases being solved.
Examples of the types of investigations conducted and the number of those incidents are listed below:
- 282 Larcenies
- 102 Fraud & Forgeries
- 57 Burglaries
- 21 Death Investigations
- 12 Forcible Sexual Assaults
- 7 Kidnapping/Abductions
- 7 Robberies
- 2 Arsons
SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION
Emergency communications personnel are tasked with being the emergency E-911 and informational point of contact for the members of our community and other professional agencies. Police dispatchers constitute a vital link to the sworn personnel of the Police Department as well. This office is staffed 24 hours a day. There are only six full time employees that are allocated to handle the volume of telephone calls from the public and the emergency radio communications of our agency's police officers.
The Records Manager is responsible for computer entry and the filing of the majority of reports and other documents that are generated by agency activities. During the past year, 1,716 reports were processed, 2,098 citations of various types entered into the computer database, and 359 parking tickets received. This unit also generates various reports and information that is required for agency planning, field services operations, accreditation compliance, and crime analysis.
CRIME PREVENTION UNIT
Goal of Crime Prevention is to enhance public awareness to deter crime, provide services, and maintain a partnership with the community and its citizens.
Project Lifesaver is a program to assist people with certain disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s or Autism, who may be prone to wandering. The client is provided with a tracking device, usually placed on their wrist or ankle. The Police Department has equipment that searches for the signal from the device on the client, and assists in locating the missing person. Officer Jennings currently has three clients using the program. Each month, she visits with her clients and caretakers, inquiring about behavior changes, and maintains and ensures their equipment is working properly. She also maintains the equipment at the Police Department.
Car Seat Installations:
Throughout 2012, car seat checks and demonstrations were conducted by Officer Jennings. Citizens and organizations continue to request assistance from Officer Jennings on the installations and for inquiries about the laws on the subject.
The Crimeline is a phone number citizens can call and leave anonymous tips about crime or other information. Officer Jennings has received several tips on the Crimeline, such as speeding, suspected drug houses, and the location of wanted subjects. When she gets the information, she forwards it on to the appropriate division. This information is very useful, as one of these tips resulted in an arrest. Jennings received an anonymous tip via the Crimeline which resulted in a discovery of a mobile methamphetamine laboratory. On the department’s website, there is also an anonymous tipline.
Officer Jennings has conducted several community presentations, including domestic violence, teen violence, dangers of drugs and alcohol in youth and adults, basic safety information for pre-schools, Internet safety, bullying, and holiday safety. These talks were presented to many different groups, including boy scouts, girl scouts, medical personnel, church organizations, pre-school, afterschool programs, Beans and Rice, Americare Plus, and the Senior Center. The presentations seemed to be very valuable to each organization, as the attendees actively participated in group discussions, activities, and asked questions.
Pulaski Community Partner’s Coalition:
Officer Jennings is an active board member for the Pulaski Community Partner’s Coalition. PCPC is a coalition targeting substance abuse in the youth community, and also promotes positive family relationships. She has attended several events with PCPC, including the middle school transitional pool parties, Prescription Take Back’s twice a year, workshops, and other youth events and programs. Officer Jennings is on several planning committees with PCPC, including Graduation Celebration, Mid-Summer Blast, and the Youth Training Center.
Each quarter, Officer Jennings writes and distributes a Business Watch newsletter called the “Pulaski Pulse.” Included in this newsletter are current crime trends, and other safety tips. Officer Jennings also offers business security assessments upon request.
Officer Jennings maintains and regularly posts public safety information, event photos, updates about the department, marketing of Crime Prevention Events, public service announcements, crime trends, upcoming events, holiday and seasonal safety, awareness on various topics such as D.U.I., Click it or Ticket, child passenger safety, and several more, on the Department’s Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace accounts.
Officer Jennings has three Neighborhood Watch groups that meet monthly and are very active. The residents of these neighborhoods are very passionate about being informed, are dedicated in cleaning up their communities, and creating a peaceful and happy environment for them to live. Officer Jennings creates lesson plans for each of these meetings, and then receives complaints of suspicious activity or other complaints from the residents. Officer Jennings provides training for participants to work together, and how to detect and report crimes. She forwards the information and distributes it to the appropriate division. In warmer weather, the residents like to have pot-luck dinners, recipe exchanges, and cook outs, in which Officer Jennings is involved.
Crime Prevention Certified Community:
One of Officer Jennings’s principle projects is completing the process for the town to become certified as a Crime Prevention Certified Community. The main goal of this Commonwealth of Virginia program is to publicly recognize and certify localities that have implemented a defined set of community safety strategies as part of their community safety and crime prevention effort. DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Services) requires twelve core elements for certification, and seven out of twenty-two optional safety elements. Core elements include the implementation of a community safety coalition, a certified Crime Prevention Specialist on staff, neighborhood watch program, community policing, organized distribution of community safety information, a designated committee trained to conduct community security and safety assessments of at-risk neighborhoods and businesses, crime analysis capability, a comprehensive school safety audit process by trained members of a local school safety team, Business Outreach, victim/witness services, delinquency prevention program, and the department must be either certified or seeking accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. The agency has many of these programs and requirements in place. DCJS prefers 3 years of documented history supporting compliance with each element. Some of the optional safety elements include DARE, McGruff, TRIAD, National Night Out, Crime Stoppers, Crime Prevention Newsletter, School Resource Officer, and a Domestic Violence response program. The documentation of all of these is similar to the VLEPSC agency accreditation process.
Officer Jennings is active with the Pulaski County Coordinating Council, which meets monthly, and is focused upon issues concerning violence against women. Officer Jennings gives and receives training at these meetings.
Officer Jennings participates in the Click It or Ticket, Buckle-Up Now, National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness, Drive Smart Virginia campaign, MADD, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, Bicycle and Pedestrian Awareness, Distracted Driving Awareness, and the Smart Safe and Sober Campaign. Officer Jennings authors public service announcements and distributes them to the news media and social media sites. Officer Jennings also distributes literature and displays to area businesses and organizations.
Officer Jennings writes and conducts community and Neighborhood Watch surveys. She collects and analyzes the information given in an effort to improve identified problems or situations.
Officer Jennings is trained on the Reverse 9-1-1 public notification system enabling her to send out massive phone calls to desired areas with important information. This capability has been utilized successfully.
Officer Jennings participates in community events including carnivals, health fairs, car shows, job fairs, and more.
She organizes the National Night Out event, which is always the second Tuesday in August. In 2012, the event was held at Calfee Park during a Pulaski Mariners baseball game. Officer Jennings plans to offer a Citizen’s Police Academy course in the fall. She wishes to include hands on training and activities with the different divisions within the department.
The Crime Prevention function works closely with the Investigations Unit in analyzing crime data and pin-pointing areas in the town with specific crime trends. Officer Jennings uses that information to send notices via Reverse 9-1-1, newspapers, extra patrol requests, and even traveling door to door to distribute flyers and speak with residents about how to prevent themselves and their property from being victimized.
Officer Jennings is exploring and researching TRIAD, and making contacts to reconstitute that program.
During the 2012 calendar year, the Department investigated twelve complaints against agency personnel. The disposition of those complaints is as follows:
- Exonerated – Officer’s actions justified - 3 (25%)
- Not Sustained – Insufficient Evidence to prove or disprove complaint - 2 (16.67%)
- Sustained – Allegations supported by sufficient evidence - 2 (16.67%)
- Unfounded – Allegations determined to be false - 5 (41.67%)
Goals and Objectives for 2012
- Complete 2nd term of accreditation files by September 2012 and have at least one Mock
- Comprehensive evaluation of FTP
- Complete Emergency Operations Plan revision
- Fully staff narcotics unit
Status: Unable to assign due to staffing shortage
- Incorporate optics on patrol rifles
- Basic crime evidence tech on each shift
- Train bike officer on each shift
Status: Not Completed
- Complete drug module and make operational
- Upgrade juvenile web cam system after new computers installed
- Complete FCC mandated narrow banding mandate
- Upgrade EOC alternate power source
- Surplus obsolete property
- Have GIS mapping (AVL-Auto Vehicle Location) installed in our current mobile data terminals along with the six additional terminals that are going to be delivered. Install appropriate software in the six new laptops.
Status: Waiting on County I.T. to install
Goals and Objectives for 2013
- Restructure Evidence Room to enhance organization and effectiveness.
- Revise Field Training program for Communications Officers for probationary employees and employees conducting the training.
- Acquire mechanical diagnostic program for agency fleet operations.
- Complete VCIN training for new personnel.
- Have GIS mapping (AVL-Auto Vehicle Location) installed in our current mobile data terminals.
- Third term accreditation compliance and reports completed.
- Conduct Active Shooter training in commercial settings.
- Re-asses In-Op vehicle assigned areas and enforce compliance.
- Identify additional personnel for Bike Patrol and register for training course.
- Assign patrol personnel to community meetings and directed personal contact areas.
The Department participated in numerous community events last year. These included:
Fire Parade Fourth of July Celebration
Pulaski Fest After Prom Party Security
Special Olympics Meadowview Apts. Kids Day
Business Ribbon Cuttings Chamber of Commerce Youth Excel Program
Christmas Parade Chamber of Commerce After Hours Social
Fallen Officers Softball Tournament
The Department has numerous partnerships with community organizations. These associations include:
Pulaski Community Partners Coalition Pulaski County Coordinating Council
Local Emergency Planning Committee Regional Information Sharing System (RACJIN)
Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program Virginia Crime Prevention Association
I appreciate your time and interest in reviewing this summary of agency service and activity during the past year. I would also like to express my thanks to all of the men and women of the Department who perform these vital services for our community. We are fortunate to have this group of dedicated professionals that are willing to respond to any situation regardless of the nature of the incident or the tragedy involved.
G. W. Roche
Chief of Police