August 9, 2010
LIMA — The Police Department saw a 12 percent drop in major crimes in 2009, and came in 14 percent under budget, Maj. Tony Swygart said Monday.
Swygart provided the department’s annual report to City Council, saying that with limited resources and staff, police officials prioritized their work for effective policing.
“We’re proud of the efforts and work and believe the community should be as well,” Swygart said.
The department was without five officers for most of the year, from a retirement, death, extended leave and two serving in the military. The department handled more than 41,000 calls but still saw all major crime categories, with the exception of homicide, drop from 2008 to 2009.
The department tracks the number of calls during the time of day and day of week, Swygart said. The number in 2009 ranged from a low of 57 on Sunday mornings to 406 on Saturday nights.
When tracked by ward, the 3rd Ward had the most calls, 21 percent. The 2nd Ward has the fewest, at 4 percent.
Officers employed “pinpoint policing” on all three shifts. Also, after seeing a sharp spike in juvenile crime the year previously, focused on curfew enforcement and other proactive juvenile measures. Juvenile crime in 2009 was 21 percent lower than in 2008, Swygart said.
In 2009, the Lima Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office formed a joint drug and crime task force. Police held defense training for women and children, an active shooter training program with Lima schools and other crime prevention training and inspections.
The department also benefited from volunteers on desk duty, child safety and records retention, Swygart said.