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Posted on Jun 3, 2019

Police Department reports illustrate trends in public safety

Kieth Siebert is now in his second year as Quincy’s Chief of Police. It is a position he embraces as an opportunity to reach out to the community more than his predecessors and to improve the well-being of his staff.
Comparing the annual reports generated by the Police Department covering 2017 and 2018 show many changes.
In the Police Records unit, fingerprinting in 2018 was down by 61 cases, from 212 in 2017 to 151 in 2018. Siebert explained that the drop in fingerprinting is mainly due to the slowing trend in hiring at the schools.
The total evidence entered was up by 168 cases last year, from 790 in 2017 to 958 in 2018. According to Siebert, the number went up due to two deaths that required a large number of evidence to be collected. One case was a homicide, the other one an unattended death.
In 2018, the Police Department destroyed 42 firearms, up by 33 compared to the 9 in 2017. Seibert explained that they had done considerable cleaning out of old property in 2018.
In Patrol Operations, 2018 generated 3,677 calls for service, which is up by 265 cases from the 3,412 in 2017.
Total arrests in 2018 added up to 566, up by 72 cases from the 494 in 2017. According to Siebert, this is thanks to the reduced amount of paperwork the officers are now required to do, enabling them to spend more time on patrol. There are also four more patrol officers on duty than before.
Malicious mischief was down to 122 cases in 2018, while in 2017 there were 185, a reduction of 63 cases. Siebert said these were mainly graffiti and minor offences. A juvenile individual who had been contributing to a lot of the graffiti was apprehended and that immediately reduced the malicious mischief incidents. There are also more officers out patrolling the city.
DUI arrests were up by 15 cases, adding up to 48 in 2018, compared to the 33 in 2017. Siebert was surprised at the upward trend, feeling frustrated that even with all the education about driving under the influence these days, people still do it.
The total number of citations in 2018 was 1,383, considerably larger than the 855 cases in 2017: They went up by 528 cases. Siebert credits this to the larger number of personnel he has now and the more frequent traffic stops the officers are conducting.
Traffic stops, a new category in 2018, yielded an impressive number: 3,731.
At the Quincy Animal Shelter, both intake and adoptions went up in 2018. In 2017, 697 animals were accepted, while in 2018 the shelter housed 739 animals.
According to Issela Navarro, the shelter manager, their use of social media has helped in increasing the adoptions. Quincy’s Happy Puppy store also helps the shelter in its operations.
In 2017, the shelter conducted 265 transfers of animals to other shelters, while in 2018 they were down to 207.
The number of licenses sold in 2017 was 173, quite a few more than the 93 in 2018. Navarro said that any animal leaving the shelter must have a license, and the shelter is enforcing the process.
In 2017, the animal calls amounted to 383, while in 2018 there were 362, reducing the number by 21 last year. Dangerous animal attacks in 2018 were down by 9 cases: there were 35 in 2017 and 26 last year.
An objective of Siebert’s in the 21st Century Policing Model he upholds is community outreach. Accordingly, the Police Department participated in 20 community events in 2018, while in 2017 it attended 11.

By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register