The Columbus Police Department (CPD) has released it’s annual report. In many areas, crime remained flat. Drug cases continue to be an issue, specifically heroin.
Arguably the department’s brightest spot came on November 22, when CPD earned the accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA. CALEA is the highest recognition for a law enforcement agency in the United States. Department officials say that it is achieved by establishing internationally recognized best practices that maintain and improve the department’s services and professionalism. CPD says that less than three percent of law enforcement agencies in the country have obtained CALEA accreditation. In Indiana, CPD is one of only 15 of the state’s 581 agencies to be awarded CALEA’s Certificate of Accreditation.
CPD officials say that this accreditation is the culmination a comprehensive three-year effort that required annual self-examination of 188 nationally accepted standards, followed by an objective review by CALEA assessors. These standards are developed by collaboration among the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and numerous other associations and organizations.
CPD also touted its partnership with the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC). The department has partnered with BCSC on a number of programs in years past, but that partnership was extended in 2014 with the addition of two full-time School Resource Officers. These officers’ primary job is to maintain safety for students, faculty and staff.
CPD’s annual report also touched on a number of statistics.
From 2013 to 2014, CPD calls for service increased 1.3 percent. From 2011 to 2014, they increased 3.4 percent.
From 2013 to 2014, there was a six percent reduction in property crime and from 2011 to 2014 a 23 percent reduction.
Operating While Intoxicated arrests increased 49 percent from 2013 to 2014.
From 2013 to 2014, CPD had a four percent increase in criminal arrests for adults. However, the department reports that adult criminal arrests have essentially remained consistent over the past four years.
From 2011 to 2014, CPD reports that there has been a 36 percent decrease in juvenile arrests. From 2013 to 2014, there has been an 11 percent decrease.
CPD officials say the department has been active in the Bartholomew County Juvenile Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), which has the goal of detaining the right youth for the right reason and to have community alternatives that can be utilized while maintaining public safety. That partnership is expected to continue.
From 2011 to 2014, CPD has reported a 13 percent decrease in domestic violence calls. However, from 2013 to 2014, there has been a 15 percent increase.
Property crime continues to be an issue for Columbus residents. CPD says that its goal is to continue to reduce the property crime rate, as has been the case over the past three years. Officials say they will strive to reduce property crime by five percent and to increase burglary case filings by 10 percent.
CPD officials say that when it comes to the drug problem, 2014 followed the trends that were seen in 2013. That includes an increase in heroin and imported methamphetamine. There were no methamphetamine labs found within city limits and the residual methamphetamine trash from labs was down 63 percent. While drug labs and trash from labs has significantly decreased, the department says meth dealing cases were up 38 percent over 2013. Officials say this shows that methamphetamine is being imported in to the city, as opposed to it being made locally. As for the heroin problem, CPD says is has “continued to attack the heroin epidemic.” That pressure is being credited with maintained the 2013 level of annual increase. The department says there has been a 500 percent increase in heroin dealing cases since 2012.
The Columbus Police Department says its goal is to continue to combat the drug supply and usage in the community. By doing that, department leaders believe it will better the quality of life for every citizen either directly or indirectly. They say this can be accomplished by increasing drug arrests by five percent and adult criminal arrests by five percent.
You can read the entire annual report at the Columbus Police Department’s website at http://columbus.in.gov/cityofcolumbus/assets/File/CPD%20Annual%20Report%202014.pdf.