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Police calls increase, while staff decreases

'We won't be able to do the things we could in the past,' Sgt. Pete Burkett, OCSO, Brandon

October 20, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- Calls for police service in the township are up, but as cuts are made to officer positions, residents can expect service to go down.

"As we cut personnel, service is going down a little," said OCSO Sgt. and Brandon Substation Commander Pete Burkett. "Property crimes are on the back burner as we are dealing strictly with crimes on people. We won't be able to do the things we could in the past."

Burkett discussed the substation's quarterly report with township officials during the board meeting Oct. 18. The number of calls for service stands at 3,134 for January through September, compared to 3,077 for the same time period last year, an increase of 57 calls.

In June, the township board voted to eliminate two police positions, the school liaison officer and the deputy 1 desk officer.

Burkett said that larcenies and home invasions have increased slightly in the township this year. The quarterly report shows 39 larcenies from vehicles in the township so far this year, compared with 32 last year. First degree home invasions were 28 this year, compared with 30 last year, but the number of residential burglaries without force is nine so far this year, compared with three last year.

Criminal sexual conduct cases have also increased, according to the report, with five this year compared to three through September of last year.

"I think crimes will trend upward because of the economy," Burkett said. "It's been steady, but we are now seeing an increase and it will continue until the economy turns around. As the economy gets worse, we're also losing officers everywhere even though crime is up."

The number of drunk or drugged driving arrests is down slightly— 28 in 2010 compared to 31 in 2009. The number of citations issued is also down— 970 in 2010 compared to 1176 from January to September 2009.

Other report statistics: the busiest month for police in the township is May, the busiest day of the week is Friday and the busiest hour is 9 p.m., all based on the number of calls for service.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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