Crime up in Newton, police department wants to add officers

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The staff is worn thin at the Newton Police Department."We started noticing our none crime reported volume increasing as well as our calls for service volume," said Sgt. Bryan Hall.

In 2000 The Newton Police Department had about 26,000 calls for service. That number jumped in 2013 to about 42,000 calls for service. However, during that increase of call of volume there's never been an increase in staff. Sgt. Hall said," when we look at our uniform crime report, violent crime, we score really high in relationship with cities our size in the state of Kansas

Last year they noted a 23% increase in violent crimes. Those are crimes rapes, aggravated batteries and robberies. He said " for city of 20,000 during the day it's normal for us to run with 3 officers and that's just not acceptable."
By exposing those statistics to the commissioners, Newton PD hopes to get support on their need to add more personnel. Sgt. Hall said "the study indicates we need hire between 9 and 12 officers."

However, in their research, each officer would cost the city almost $82,000 each. So Newton PD is proposing to add five for now.

Leroy Koehn, Newton Mayor, said "we will have to give some credence to the facts as they are and maybe make some sacrifices in other areas in order to make extra law enforcement one of our priorities."

The Mayor and commissioners are shocked at the crime stats and agree something needs to be done to curb the number. Koehn said, "we will deal with it and make this community better."

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