ICYMI:

Why more Clark County schools are adding sheriff’s deputies in their buildings

Springfield police saw calls increase by 7 percent last , murders down


The Springfield Police Division responded to more than 62,000 calls for service last year, an increase of about 7.5 percent from 2015.

That’s an average of about 170 calls every 24 hours, Springfield Police Chief Steve Moody said at Friday’s City Commission retreat at the City Service Center on Lagonda Avenue.

Moody gave an update on crime at the meeting, including efforts to strength community/police relations. A second retreat meeting was scheduled for Saturday morning but it was postponed to a later date.

Overall crime was down about 10 percent last year, Moody said. Officer-initiated activity also increased by 18 percent, he said.

“They were addressing hot spots through their own initiative,” Moody said.

RELATED: Rash of overdoses in Springfield strains resources

There were three murders in Springfield last year, down from 13 in 2015. However, aggravated assault crimes were up 25 percent, he said.

“That’s directly correlated to the gun crime that we see here in the city,” he said.

Robbery was up 12 percent and property crime increased by 9 percent, he said, which is being caused by an epidemic of fentanyl and heroin usage. Officers also responded to more than 350 calls for overdoses last year, up from 300 in 2015.

This year, officers have responded to more than 180 calls for service for overdoses, including 137 in January and 49 this month through Feb. 10, Moody said.

Burglary was down 8 percent, Moody said.

MORE: Clark County, Springfield still mulling combined dispatch center

The police division has been ahead of the curve when it comes to community/police relations happening in other cities, Moody said, because of the relationships it’s created with neighborhood organizations, such as the NAACP, the Peacekeepers and local churches.

The division ended its presence on West State Street/West Johnny Lytle Avenue earlier this year when the Police Substation there closed on Jan. 1 due to the city’s financial struggles. The city asked voters to approve a tax increase that would’ve generated $6.7 million annually for the city’s general fund, but it was rejected at the polls. Springfield will be back on the ballot with a similar tax increase in May.

The substation had three Community Response Team officers last year, who saw their activity increase by 71 percent, Moody said. Two of the officers were recently reassigned to different units due to the closure, Moody said.

“It’s a one-man show right now,” he said.

Many other important long-time initiatives are no longer sustainable due to decreased funding, Moody said, including Bike Camp, Law Camp, active shooter training at schools and businesses, as well as violence in the workplace and women’s self-defense training.

“As it stands right now, we won’t be able to do those programs,” he said.

MORE: Springfield commission to vote to go back on ballot with tax increase

The Citizen’s Police Academy is also at-risk, Moody said. It’s had nearly 400 graduates since it began in 2004, he said.

“It most likely won’t occur,” Moody said.

The Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association has volunteered more 19,000 hours over the past 10 years, he said.

“To say that they’re frustrated and disappointed is an understatement,” Moody said.

Other special events such as National Night Out, Operation Thanksgiving and Operation Christmas are also at-risk, he said.

SOCIAL MEDIA: FOLLOW REPORTER MICHAEL COOPER ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.

“Our partnerships with the community were put at risk (last November) and could even more so be put at risk for what may or may not happen in May,” Moody said.

During the election, city leaders said up to 10 civilian workers at the police division could be laid off. Springfield recently gave layoff notices to four service clerks who coordinate book-ins at the Clark County Jail, he said.

“It’s going to hamper our efficiency as an organization,” Moody said.

FIVE NEWS-SUN MUST READS

Historic downtown Springfield site may become year-round marketplace

Springfield police aiming for $100K Taser grant

Clark County, Humane Society negotiating $80K deal to keep dogs here

Special report: Healthy Springfield

Hidden camera video reveals details in Logan County shooting death



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Solutions from local opioid forums presented to state leaders
Solutions from local opioid forums presented to state leaders

Proposed solutions to Ohio’s addiction crisis that grew out of a collaboration between journalists and local communities will be presented to Gov. John Kasich’s office. Through a series of community forums, including five in southwest Ohio in February, journalists with Your Voice Ohio heard from an estimated 500 individuals who have been...
What is State Issue 1 on the May ballot?
What is State Issue 1 on the May ballot?

On May 8, Ohio voters will decide on major changes to how Ohio draws district lines for members of Congress. The issue, put on the ballot by the General Assembly by a bi-partisan vote of 83-10 in the House and a unanimous vote in the Senate, is supposed to create a fairer process. After every census, Ohio lawmakers change the state’s congressional...
Gov. Kasich orders review of Ohio gun background check program
Gov. Kasich orders review of Ohio gun background check program

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order Monday to get an update on weaknesses in the state’s gun background-check system. Failure by local courts and law enforcement to send timely data to the state, which forwards it to National Instant Criminal Background Check System, could mean guns are being purchased by people who are ineligible...
Guns, minimum wage top issues in Democratic governor primary
Guns, minimum wage top issues in Democratic governor primary

Four years ago, Ohio Democrats pushed hard for a gubernatorial candidate who looked good on paper and found one: Ed FitzGerald. The campaign was soon run aground by scandal — including news reports that he had been questioned by police after they found him in a parked car in the early morning hours with a woman who was not his wife — and...
Fire Mueller? Don’t do it, Ohio Republicans say
Fire Mueller? Don’t do it, Ohio Republicans say

Most Ohio lawmakers on Capitol Hill — including Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton — say it would be a mistake for President Donald Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, though taking action to block the president from doing so has more opposition among local Republicans. “We need to let Special Counsel...
More Stories