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Number of emergency calls to Jamestown Police remains constant – Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN – Jamestown Police Department emergency calls remained roughly the same in 2023 compared to 2022, with an increase in crimes reportable to the FBI, according to Jamestown Police Chief Scott Edinger.

Jamestown Police responded to 14,490 emergency calls in 2022. In 2023, police responded to 15,036 calls, 46 more than in 2022.

“We have been fluctuating between 14,000 and 15,000 for some time now,” said Edinger.

When Edinger took over as police chief, he said the Jamestown Police Department responded to approximately 18,000 emergency calls, but many of them were duplicate calls.

“So you see a big drop in those calls in the first 10 years or so when we tried to eliminate some of that duplication,” he said

The number of arrests for crimes such as assault, sexual offenses, theft and drugs increased by 44; 662 cases were reported in 2022 and 706 in 2023.

Edinger said the number of crimes reportable to the FBI has increased over the past three years. In 2023, there were 935 crimes reportable to the FBI, compared to 885 in 2022.

Crimes that must be reported to the FBI include assault, fraud, and serious theft.

Edinger said the number of scam calls has decreased over the past two years compared to 2021, when there were 41. In 2023, the department had 31 scam calls, compared to 23 in 2022.

“I think it has a lot to do with the education we’ve done and the awareness that many agencies and social media posts are spreading, as well as sharing information in news broadcasts and news agency publications,” Edinger said, citing the decline in scam calls.

The number of assisted cases has increased by more than 250 since 2021. Jamestown Police handled 962 assisted cases in 2021, 1,024 in 2022 and 1,213 in 2023.

“It can also just mean you get a call to help someone,” Edinger said. “They have a question and want to speak to an officer, so you come to their home and answer their question.”

Decline in sex offender registrations

The number of sex offender registrations has declined since 2021, when there were 1,022. The department processed 804 sex offender registrations in 2023 compared to 957 in 2022, a decrease of 153.

Edinger said he was not sure why sex offender registrations had declined.

“We changed the way we monitor them, and it became clear that the system we had in place to monitor them before wasn’t working,” he said. “They were doing a lot of things behind the scenes that we weren’t uncovering in the way we were doing it before. So now we’re very, very proactive, making arrests every week for not complying with their probation and not following the registration rules.”

He said the agency has made some changes to address sex offender homelessness. A sex offender must report as homeless every three days if he or she reports being homeless.

“That means every three days an officer has to come and meet with you and spend a half to three-quarters of an hour with you,” he said. “We’re checking them much more frequently to make sure they’re where they say they’re staying because they still have to be in one place. I think that’s one of the reasons the number (of sex offender registrations) has gone down.”

He said sex offender registrations have declined, but sex crimes violations have increased from nine in 2021 to 16 in 2022 and 21 in 2023.

“I think we’re somewhere around that number, so we could double it this year,” he said.

The number of cases of sexual harassment of minors increased from one in 2021 to four in 2022 and five in 2023. The number of sexual assaults increased from eight in 2021 to 17 in 2022 and 19 in 2023.

Edinger said the school commissioner has been instrumental in establishing contacts in Jamestown schools.

“He’s done a really good job there and uncovered a lot of crimes that I think have been underreported for a long time,” he said.

Edinger noted that the number of crimes related to driving under the influence of alcohol has increased this year.

“We have already matched the number of drunk driving cases from last year to this point this year,” he said. “I think that’s partly because we’re now a couple of years behind in clearing up some of the verdicts. It took about five years to clear up some of the verdicts that resulted from refusing blood tests and some of the chemical tests. There were some challenges during the pandemic years and it took a while to clear those up.

“We’re seeing officers develop a certain level of confidence now that they know how to handle these situations and have better guidance on what to do. I think that’s part of the increase,” Edinger said. “I’m not sure what the reason for the rest is.”

In 2023, the department arrested 53 adults for driving under the influence, up nine from 44 in 2022. In 2021, the department arrested 37 adults for driving under the influence.

In 2023, the department recorded 63 drunk driving calls, six fewer than the 69 in 2022.

Other calls to which JPD responded

In 2023, the department received no reports of murder or attempted murder.

The Jamestown Police Department recorded 196 domestic emergency calls in 2023, 39 fewer than the 235 in 2022. In 2021, the Police Department recorded 219 emergency calls.

The number of domestic violence calls, which Edinger said are one level above domestic violence, remained stable. Departments had 75 domestic violence calls in 2021 and 2022 and 80 in 2023.

The number of calls for simple assault increased by 52 in 2023 compared to 40 in 2022. The department had 42 calls for simple assault in 2021.

The number of aggravated assault calls has decreased slightly over the past three years. The department had 23 aggravated assault calls in 2021, 18 in 2022, and 17 in 2023.

Edinger said the number of vehicle thefts increased in 2023.

“This is really frustrating for us because it’s so easy to prevent and all too often it leads to chases,” he said. “They do more than just car thefts. They usually break into other cars. They find keys in someone’s unlocked car and take them.”

In 2021 and 2022, the department recorded 14 vehicle thefts and in 2023, 20, an increase of six.

“I think that number would have been close to zero 10 years ago, but now it’s very common,” he said.

The number of thefts from motor vehicles decreased from 2022 to 2023. In 2023, the department received 36 calls for motor vehicle thefts compared to 62 in 2022, a decrease of 26.

“This is usually someone who leaves their car unlocked and with valuables visible,” said Edinger.

Edinger said the number of reports of drug possession fluctuates.

“A lot of it can also be down to staffing levels,” he said. “The years when we’ve had fewer officers have really impacted it because having fewer people working the same or more cases ties them up with more reports and therefore doing less proactive work.”

In 2023, the department responded to 50 calls for drug possession, 19 more than in 2022, when there were 31. In 2021, the department recorded 54 calls for drug possession.

The department responded to 20 suicide attempts in 2023, three more than in 2022 with 17 and 10 fewer than in 2021 with 30. The department also recorded four completed suicides in 2021, two in 2022 and five in 2023.

Edinger said the number of emergency calls regarding suicide threats fluctuates each year and can be classified into the categories of “threat” and “attempt,” depending on who is on the phone.

The department responded to 86 suicide threats in 2023, 10 more than the 76 in 2022. In 2021, the department received 78 calls about suicide threats.

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