RCPD commended for 10-percent crime drop

By Bethany Knipp

The Riley County Law Board unanimously approved a list of goals for the Riley County Police Department on Tuesday — but also commended the department for a job well done.

The RCPD met last year’s goal for crime reduction and will work to maintain the rate that dropped crime more than 10 percent in the last five years.

“Suffice it to say, I think this is one area where we have made a bit of a difference,” RCPD Director Brad Schoen said.

The police department’s 2013 goal report indicated that serious crimes dipped steadily between 2008 and 2013, from 29.2 percent per 1,000 residents to 18.8 percent.

Schoen said that’s because in 2008, the department implemented intelligence-led policing, which focused law enforcement in the most crime-ridden areas of the county based on past data.

Another 2014 goal for the RCPD is to reduce the number of non-weather and non-animal related traffic incidents by 2 percent.

Commissioner Wynn Butler, however, suggested that goal was too broad, and asked whether the RCPD could make an community impact with such a small figure.

The police department met the goal in 2013, with incidents decreasing from an average of 14.2 per 1,000 residents to 13.9.

RCPD Director Brad Schoen suggested holding out for another year and subsequently maintaining the rate thereafter.

“We’re beginning to get to the point where we question whether we’ll be able to drop the accident rates any farther within the constraints that the public will accept in terms of enforcement,” Schoen said.

Butler made the motion to approve the RCPD’s goals, adding another goal that would focus on the department’s data-reporting process so that nothing gets buried — including the RCPD’s accomplishments.

The RCPD’s other 2014 goals included maintaining a high rate of public satisfaction and improving employee wellness.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the law board also gave the green light for the RCPD to receive an annual grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation that would pay for officers’ overtime for conducting three DUI check lanes and six saturation patrols.

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