RCPD chief looks back, and ahead in 2012

REED CITY — The Reed City Police Department has one goal.

Service.

Officers with the department fulfilled that goal in 2011 - in spades.

They anticipate offering more of their best service in the year to come.

“The year 2011 was a good year for our department ...a very busy year,” reported RCPD Chief Chuck Davis.

“We aren’t disappointed it was busy, that things haven’t slowed down. In our line of work, being busy is something we’re used to, and we see the fact that we were busy as confirmation that we are doing everything we can to make this city better for the people who live here.”

Looking at the compiled statistics, RCPD officers actually responded to 108 fewer complaints than they did the year previous.

That may seem good, but at the end of the day there were still 5,264 calls responded to - and that doesn’t include traffic stops!

“I have a real sense of accomplishment when I review statistics such as these,” continued Davis.

“I see this as proof we have a team that is capable of responding to 5,264 needs expressed by members of our community.

“That is vitally important. When there is a need, there really must be someone ready to respond to that need.”

And all work carried out by the RCPD  was done with four officers.

“This also doesn’t necessarily include calls in which we back up other departments in our area,’ Davis pointed out. “We average about ten assists each month.

“Our officers are very busy, and now that we don’t have part-time help they are even busier.”

One area of policing covered by the RCPD that isn’t carried out by other departments serving the Reed City area — county or state — is business checks.

“We carried out over 24,000 business inspections in 2010,” noted Davis. “The numbers for this past year haven’t been added up just yet.

“These inspections include basic shaking of the front and back doors of any and every business in town. This is an important aspect of what we see as our mission of protecting and serving.

“Being there — being present — is important.

“Making sure a business owner, school officials, or people who leave town for the winter can be secure and happy we are checking on their property on a regular basis is important.”

Davis noted his department handled a lot of domestic disputes, and also was called out to deal with neighborhood issues.

“Sometimes it may seem the things we respond to are petty,” he said. “Still, it’s important to realize that little things, little issues, can escalate quickly. We like to try and deal with problems before they grow into major complaints.”

Drugs remain an area of concern to the RCPD chief.

“It’s there, and it simply isn’t going away,” he said.

“We turn a lot of drug related things over to TNT and investigative arms that can best handle them.

“It is disappointing to realize that the drug issue apparently will never fully go away.

“So much of what we do; so many of the complaints we deal with are directly related to substance abuse.”

Davis reported that the number of breaking and entering had dropped substantially.

“There still were 40 such complaints, and that is a lot for a small town,” he pointed out.

“We have been dealing with a lot of larcenies, bad check complaints, shoplifting ...what we might consdier economic crimes.

“All in all, we had a successful year in 2011 serving the people of this community.”

But, it has been trying when it comes to budget issues.

“Budgets are very tight,” said Davis. “So tight that I really don’t know what we can expect in the future.

“I expect it’s going to be tough.

“Still I hope to give our residents the same level of service they received in 2011 - no matter what happens.

“It’s hard to say.

“Frankly, money makes the difference.”