TRUCKEE, Calif. — Coming off another low crime year for the town of Truckee, its police department is looking to keep those numbers in check while improving community relations for the rest of 2013.
In 2012, the Truckee Police Department made 502 arrests — 100 adult felonies, 340 adult misdemeanors, 10 juvenile felonies and 52 juvenile misdemeanors, according to recently released statistics. That number is slightly up from 2011, when 479 arrests were made, and lower than the 563 arrests made in 2010 and 604 in 2009.
“We continue to be fortunate that we have an exceptionally low crime rate,” said Police Chief Adam McGill.
In 2012, there were no homicides, one robbery, 61 burglaries, 17 vehicle thefts and 104 assaults, according to TPD. These numbers are similar to 2011 statistics, where there were zero homicides, two robberies, 92 burglaries, 12 vehicle thefts and 93 assaults.
During a presentation to town council late last month, McGill pointed out the report of four rapes in 2012, three more than in 2011.
“These are crimes that are reported; it doesn’t mean these are crimes that occurred,” he said. “… Through investigation, we determined all four of those were unfounded.”
Other noteworthy 2012 stats released by TPD include: 106 driving under the influence, 127 collision reports — two of which were fatal, both involving bicyclists — and 163 thefts.
As for traffic enforcement in 2012, there were 845 citations issued, including warnings — 631 for moving/hazardous citations, 75 parking, 61 equipment, 65 registration and 13 safety restraints.
“Many a police chief would love to have these statistics,” McGill said.
With a staff of 24 sworn-in personnel, four civilian personnel, 14 volunteers, and two reserve sergeants and officers in 2012, the department policed a population of 16,180 last year on a budget of $5.32 million.
When asked this week to evaluate TPD, Christen Schipani, a five-year Truckee resident, praised the department, although she said she would like to see a stronger presence with speed control, particularly in residential neighborhoods.
“I think they’re good,” Schipani said. “(I) constantly see their presence. Plus, I don’t think Truckee is a neighborhood where there’s bad people.”
In early February 2012, McGill was appointed to police chief, replacing Nick Sensley. Additionally, there were three in-house promotions in 2012 — one to captain and two to sergeant — three retirements and one departure, and four new officer hires, moves that ushered new energy into the department, McGill said.
With that, new efforts were made to better connect with the community and visitors by increasing TPD’s participation at community events such as the Fourth of July parade and fireworks, Truckee Day and Truckee Thursdays, among others, and enhancing partnerships with local organizations such as the Family Resource Center.
“It’s just knowing your officers,” said Police Capt. Rob Leftwich. “Knowing them by name, knowing them by face, not simply because they’re in uniform.”
The department’s 2013 goals include traffic safety by providing education and enforcement efforts through campaigns such as “Share the Road,” “Click it or Ticket it” and Distracted Driving Month; decreasing minors’ use of alcohol and tobacco through education and enforcement; and further enhancing community outreach and engagement by establishing a canine program and involvement in town events, among other efforts.
“We’ll see their presence more in a one-on-one fashion versus behind a car window,” said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook. “I’m very pleased with the direction of the department. I think it’s making huge strides and very much looking forward to the next few years.”
To learn more about the department, read its 2012 annual report here.