August 19, 2010
With the announcement of layoffs of (5) city police officers, the Chillicothe Police Department will have to make some tough decisions as to what priorities we address first. The Police Department is authorized to have (45) patrol officers. Before the lay offs, the police department was at (38) police officers, leaving us short (7). We are now faced with a loss of (12) police officers.
The following services will be affected:
There will be no response to private property crashes without injuries when more than (2) officers are assigned to a separate call.
There will be no response to auto crashes that involve less than $500.00 and no injuries when more than (2) officers are assigned to separate calls. Citizens may exchange information and call the police at a later time to schedule a crash report.
No response to dog at large calls, unless there is a dog bite or vicious dog at large. Citizens are to contact the dog warden or humane society for any other animal related calls.
Officers will not process crime scenes on misdemeanor crimes when the supervisor determines that any possible evidence collected would not result in a probable arrest in a reasonable amount of time.
No assigned traffic enforcement. Only random traffic patrols when possible.
No stationary patrols.
Reduction of staffing in the Detective division.
Possible termination of the D.A.R.E. program. (Decision pending staffing adjustments)
Possible reduction in minimum manning to (3) officers per shift. (Decision pending staffing adjustments)
I ask that the citizens take into consideration that the officers have worked short staffed for several years and with the additional reduction in police officers I expect that officers will not be able to spend a great deal of time investigating minor crimes. I suspect that officers may appear to be a “little” short in conversations and will not be able to spend a lot of time mediating conflicts. Officers may be more prone to issue criminal or traffic citations and move on to the next call, rather than give multiple warnings or mediation.
Chillicothe police officers pride themselves on professional conduct and their ability to investigate and solve crimes and citizen complaints. I do not condone rude conduct and I expect professionalism. Make no mistake, the officers are under a tremendous amount of pressure to perform more efficiently with fewer officers available to handle the day to day call volume and not have a back-up officer immediately available.
Roger A. Moore
Chief of Police