Union Police Chief Norman Brune said there were fewer driving while intoxicated arrests last year due to a cut in traffic enforcement grants.
According to a report presented to aldermen in January, there were a total of 98 arrests in 2012. That is 38 fewer then in the previous year.
When asked about the decrease by Alderman Jim Albrecht, Brune explained that there were fewer grants to fund overtime.
“There were not as many officers on overtime working DWI grants or traffic grants,” he said.
Brune explained the more time officers are on the road, the more violations they will see.
“DWI (arrests) are made because there was a traffic stop for some violation,” he said. “It isn’t the numbers we try to shoot for — it’s just something that happens and we address it.”
In 2012, there were 35 DWI cases prosecuted by the city, and 63 prosecuted by the state.
In 2011, there were 87 state DWI cases, and 49 city DWI cases. That is compared to a total of 72 DWIs in 2010.
Brune said that the determination if the DWI case is prosecuted by state or city is determined by the city prosecutor.
He noted that there was a decrease in the number of tickets, and an increase in the number of traffic crashes in 2012.
There were 2,030 tickets issued in 2012, compared to 2,684 in 2011. There were 514 car crashes last year, compared to 428 in 2011.
Brune added that due to fewer traffic grants, there were less officers on the roadways.
He said the higher presence of officers on the roadway, such as in 2011, prevents crashes.
Oftentimes, officers were working other cases and could not spend as many hours with traffic enforcement.
Thefts, Stealing Up
According to the 2012 year-end report, there were increases from the previous year in shoplifting, and felony and misdemeanor stealing.
There were 63 shoplifting arrests in 2012, compared to 35 in 2011.
Also last year there were 109 felony stealing arrests, compared to 92 in 2011; and 415 misdemeanor stealing cases, compared to 229 the previous year.
There has been a 61 percent increase in stealing in 2012 compared to the average of the three previous years.
“That is a major increase,” Brune said.
“There have been a lot of thefts from vehicles and leaving without paying from service stations,” he added. “They are not stealing because they need it — it is not food for their family.”
There were 74 burglaries in 2012, that is 25 more burglaries than in 2011. That is a 54 percent increase in 2012 compared to the average of the three previous years.
Brune attributed some of those increases to drug abuse, in particular the growing number of heroin addictions.
“They are stealing to buy drugs and support that habit,” he said. “It is a rising problem in Franklin County.”
In 2012, there were 3,453 total reports prepared by police. That is up 172 from the previous year.
There was a decrease of 654 traffic tickets from 2,684 in 2011, to 2,300 in 2012.
There were 93 animals impounded in 2012, just two shy from the previous year.
There were 785 arrests made in 2012. That is 32 more arrests than in 2011.
Following are 2012 figures from major crime categories compared to the figures in 2011:
Assault — 213, decrease of eight;
Domestic assault — 104, decrease of 17;
Attempted suicide — Eight, decrease of nine;
Auto accidents — 514, decrease of 86;
Bad checks — Seven, decrease of 22;
Burglary — 74, increase of 25;
Destruction of city property — Nine, decrease of two;
Destruction of private property — 217, increase of 114;
Driving while intoxicated (city) — 35, decrease of 14;
Driving while intoxicated (state) — 63, decrease of 24;
Drug violations — 169, decrease of 17;
Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident — 77, increase of 45;
Missing persons — 22, increase of six;
Motor vehicle thefts — 11, no change;
Rape — Two, no change;
Sexual abuse or misconduct — Eight, no change;
Peace disturbance — 47, increase of six;
Minor in possession — 33, increase of one; and
Suicide — Eight, increase of two.