Police release 2016 enforcement totals

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Local law enforcement agencies saw a slight decline in some key crime categories last year while experiencing an uptick in others, recently released statistics show.

The Waterloo Police Department handled more than 1,600 fewer calls for service in 2016 than the year prior — 12,151 to 13,787.

The same goes for the Columbia Police Department, which fielded 13,744 calls for service in 2016 compared to 14,038 in 2015.

Criminal citations declined for Waterloo police, from 242 in 2015 to 227 in 2016. Included in these totals are domestic battery offenses, which increased to 22 cases in 2016 from 15 in 2015.

Arrests for drug offenses remained about the same from 2015 to 2016 in Waterloo, with the exception of possession of a controlled substance. There were 13 such arrests in 2016 compared to seven made in 2015.

Retail theft arrests declined from 90 in 2015 to 61 in 2016, with the majority of incidents taking place at Walmart.

Crash reports were down in Waterloo, from 327 in 2015 to 320 in 2016, with a steep decline in injury crashes. There were 43 injury crashes handled by the WPD in 2015 compared to just 18 in 2016.

In Columbia, officers handled 276 crashes in 2016. That is just one more crash than in 2015. Eight of the crashes were alcohol-related in both 2016 and 2015.

As for crashes involving injury, Columbia saw a 46 percent decline from 85 in 2015 to 46 in 2016.

Columbia officers made 59 DUI arrests in 2016, which is down slightly from 65 DUI arrests in 2015.

As for drug arrests, the CPD made 18 arrests for possession of a controlled substance compared to 12 in 2015.

Battery reports increased in Columbia, from eight (two arrests) in 2015 to 17 (five arrests) in 2016.

Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul expressed concern with the increase in violence against police officers in his town. There were 11 arrests for resisting arrest or obstructing justice in 2016 compared to just four such incidents in 2015.

“It’s definitely a concern,” Paul said. “We’ve seen more incidents of damage to police cars and cases where the individuals are being more aggressive with the officers.”

Retail theft reports increased in Columbia as well, from eight (eight arrests) in 2015 to 14 (nine arrests) in 2016.

The number of sex offenses increased in Columbia, from just five reports with one arrest in 2015 to four reports with nine arrests in 2016.

Paul said the issue of “sexting” using mobile devices has been addressed in the schools by working with administrators to discuss the matter with students.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department also released 2016 totals, with calls for service increasing from 9,787 in 2015 to 10,919 in 2016.

Arrests were up very slightly for county deputies, from 105 in 2015 to 107 in 2016. There were 347 citations issued last year compared to 384 issued in 2015.

There were 10 DUI arrests and 10 domestic battery arrests in 2016, compared to 15 DUI arrests and five domestic battery arrests made in 2015.

The MCSD made nine arrests for possession of a controlled substance in 2016 compared to just two such arrests in 2015.

The sheriff’s department handled 263 crashes in 2016, with two fatalities, compared to 267 crashes in 2015 (one fatal). From those crashes, 48 tickets were issued in 2016 compared to 51 issued in 2015.

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