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Crime up in township

Sgt. Burkett,'We are doing more with less'

February 09, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- Deputies responded to 5,750 calls for service in the township in 2010, more than 250 calls than the year before, and they did it with a roughly 20 percent reduction in staff.

"Just like in every other sector— private, public and government— we are doing more with less," said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Burkett, commander of the Brandon substation. "People need our services more and we are down to 11-and-a-half deputies."

Burkett presented the OCSO year-end report at the Feb. 7 township board meeting, detailing the number of calls including crimes, accidents, and more that police responded to in the township from January through December 2010.

"The last two years, the reports were positive," Burkett noted. "This past year, almost every crime statistic is up. We are up in crashes, too."

Among the biggest increases were the number of assault offenses— 84 in 2010, compared to 61 in 2009, and 75 burglaries last year compared to 56 the year before. Larcenies also increased, from 122 in 2009 to 133 in 2010. There were 11 auto thefts, up by two from the year before. Deputies responded to 122 reports of disorderly conduct (up from 102 in 2009); 131 calls for family trouble (compared to 118 the year before); and 870 calls to assist citizens (826 in 2009). OCSO Brandon substation staff investigated 16 deaths that were suspicious in nature, but not ruled a homicide. These are often drug-related.

Drug offenses remained the same at 18. Also unchanged were sex offenses (six) and weapons offenses (three).

Criminal sexual conduct calls were down by two, seven in 2010 compared to nine the year before. Also decreasing were fraud complaints, 21 in 2010, down 14 from the 35 calls in 2009.

Traffic accidents increased by five, from 365 in 2009 to 370 in 2010. The number of arrests for operating while intoxicated or operating under the influence of narcotics remained steady at 36.

Brandon deputies respond to the highest number of incidents between 3 p.m and 8 p.m., with the peak time 4 p.m. Their busiest day of the week is Wednesday and last year, the highest number of incidents occurred in the month of October.

The township started 2010 with 14 sheriff's office staffmembers at the Brandon substation. In June, the township board voted to eliminate the school liaison officer position, as well as the deputy one desk officer position. A few months later, the board voted to eliminate the K-9 deputy position, and share a midnight shift deputy with Independence Township. The school liaison officer position was restored in January, after the Brandon School Board voted to pay for the position through the end of this school year.

"We're going to do the best with what we have," said Burkett.

The substation commander plans to request a crime analysis from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office this year so that he can target the highest crime areas in the township with additional patrols.

"I want to effectively use what resources we have to prevent crime," he said.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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