Editor’s Note: This marks the debut of the weekly Wilmington Police Department Week in Review from Chief Duane Weyand, providing a detailed look at WPD incidents and responses.
The last seven days have slowed down some for us — but this summer has been a rather busy one compared to previous years.
This summer we handled 150 more calls than last year. Over the last seven days WPD has handled 334 calls for service. This is about an average weekly call load.
Our patrol officers have been rather busy. We are currently two officers down so I can’t thank the officers enough for working extra hard as the call volume doesn’t care if you are fully staffed or not.
Leading service calls
Suspicious person calls and traffic crashes lead the top categories for calls for service. We still had some thefts and domestics. Of the small handful of thefts we had, two were from unlocked motor vehicles, two were for bicycles, one shoplifting, and one for a lawn ornament. Road units solved one breaking-and-entering and recovered several pieces of stolen property.
Over the week officers have been engaged with several people with mental illness. Using their crisis intervention training comes in handy. Road units have taken several people to the hospital for mental illness. Some of these calls range from encountering people with mental illness on a low-level call to being dispatched to a home where someone is attempting suicide. These types of calls rarely make the news because officers successfully defuse them without incident.
Patrol made 18 arrests over the last week and didn’t have to use force to make any of those arrests. Year-to-date, officers have taken 785 people into custody for various crimes. Out of that, only four times have they had to use physical force to make an arrest.
Our Detective side has been busy this week. They obtained one search warrant for a suspected drug house that our SWAT team executed. This matter remains under investigation as charges for drugs and other crimes are being looked over.
They have also been busy with crimes against children. They have a few cases that came in involving sex offenses. Charges will be forthcoming on these cases.
In the near future you will see the grand jury report. WPD is responsible for cases that involved six counts of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition, aggravated possession of drugs, deception to obtain dangerous drugs, possession of cocaine, breaking and entering, and grand theft.
Communications the key
I couldn’t do a week in review without showing some love for our communications staff.
While the phone rings off the hook from everything involving police calls to how to get to the Corn Festival, their main focus is dispatching public safety services. The past week they have dispatched: Wilmington Police 334 times, Wilmington Fire and EMS 77 times; Blanchester Fire once; and Sabina, Richland, Wayne & Wilson Joint Fire & EMS 17 times.
This week has been steady with calls for them above and beyond safety services as they have fielded calls for communication outages to road closures.
Duane Weyand is Chief of Police of Wilmington.