5 Questions: Police calls continue to increase
Police calls in Eudora again increased last year. There were 13,297 total calls in 2009, up from 12,006 calls in 2008. There were 9,664 calls made in 2007.
The department made 5,559 building checks and made 2,503 car stops.
The were 168 domestic calls, 71 burglary/theft calls, 72 DUIs, 17 narcotics calls and 15 sex crime calls.
The most notable call increase was that of domestic disturbances, which went up about 70 percent from 99 calls in 2008.
Police Chief Greg Dahlem discussed 2009 and looked ahead to 2010.
Q: How would you characterize 2009?
A:It’s been difficult trying to respond to the same amount, if not more, calls than we’ve had in previous years with the staff that we have being short officers. We’re also dealing with trying to respond to calls and take care of citizen complaints, as well as dealing with the economic crunch.
We’ve seen an increase in domestic situations and thefts due to the economy.
Q: What are some things you think the department did well?
A: We did a good job of police presence, working on finishing up in-house equipment to become more paperless and being more self-sufficient in reporting our numbers to the state instead of going through the records division in Lawrence.
Q: Why is police presence important?
A: It definitely keeps crime down because it lets the citizens know that the officers are actually out there doing their jobs. As taxpayers, they can see where their money is going because they actually see the officers out patrolling, doing traffic enforcement, building checks and knocking on doors at 3 in the morning to let someone know their garage door was left open.
Q: Are there certain areas in which you’d like to improve?
A: I’d like to reduce the amount of overtime we spend each year, but that’s going to be tough to do with the amount of people we have. Other than that, we’ll continue what we’ve been doing and do what we can to try and decrease the amount of crime.
Q: Are there any particular projects or grants you might pursue in 2010?
A: Well, we’re always looking at grants that are out there. We really don’t have any special projects in mind this year because we don’t have the money.
So far, we really haven’t seen an increase in traffic as a result of the new interchange, either. We might this summer, though.