Monday, June 4, 2012
Mulvane needs more police officers. The city's 911 call load is up and they've seen a dramatic rise in the number of arrests.
"First five months of this year, we've arrested 30 DUIs. This time last year we had two,” Chief Dave Williams said.
If you're thinking the increased number of arrests is connected the nearby casino, Chief Dave Williams says you'd be wrong.
“Hasn't happened,” Chief Williams said.
In fact, the chief says, on average, the police department only gets one call a day from the casino.
"I'm just as surprised as anybody. I really thought we'd have a bigger increase. Now, if they build more businesses out there, especially retail that attracts more people and could lead to more theft and fraud, then I really think we'll see a bigger jump,” Chief Williams said.
Williams says in the last year, the amount of crime in Mulvane has stayed about the same. He says the number of arrests is only up because his nine officers are being more proactive in their patrols.
"We're just looking for it. That's what it comes down to,” Chief Williams said.
Right now, those nine officers are working 12-hour shifts, so Williams is asking the city council to include salaries for two more officers in the 2013 budget.
Some Mulvane residents say they'd like to see a few more uniforms on the streets.
"It'd be nice to have a few more cops around here to watch out for everybody,” Constance Hemminger said.
"It's not a small town, but it's always growing. I think more police would be a good idea,” Carmen Callaway said.
Williams says with a staff of 11, officers would only have to work 10-hour shifts. The city council won't make any decisions on the budget until July.
The casino has had some impact on the police department. Mulvane officers don't have jurisdiction to patrol the streets around the casino, but they do respond when called out there.
At Monday night's council meeting, Williams said that their overall call load is up about 10 percent, with about a tenth of those calls from the casino.
He also said that their criminal cases are up 19 percent this year, with 15 percent of that total from the casino.