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The Pell City Police Department recently released their 2008 annual report. Chief Greg Turley prepared the report that highlights the efficiencies and the statistics from the year that was.

The Pell City Police Department recently released their 2008 annual report. Chief Greg Turley prepared the report that highlights the efficiencies and the statistics from the year that was.

There were nearly 24,000 calls for service during the year, which is an increase of 2,661 from 2007. “Because of attrition, resignation, military leave, death, and fuel costs [budget], the department handled the increased call loads while being up to six officers short,” Turley said in the report. “The annual report shows that the department has performed exceptionally in a time of increased community growth. This exceptional performance is demonstrated by an increase in productivity, clearance rate, and volunteerism while showing a decrease in vehicle accidents.”

Productivity

There were 1,185 misdemeanor arrests in 2008, up 70 from 2007 and 150 felony arrests, down four from 2007. One of the most glaring changes involved the large number of citations issued, 3,971, an increase of 695. Accidents were down 71 to 396 for the year. The report states that a decrease in accidents is impressive considering the increase in construction, population and traffic congestion caused by roadwork.

Pell City police officers responded to the following number of call types in 2008:

Disturbances - 697

Traffic Stops - 4,379

Traffic Control- 1,545

Alarms - 994

Suspicious Vehicles- 1,358

Warrants - 594

Patrol Requests - 2,130

Reckless Driving - 289

Welfare Check – 655

Out of 1,223 investigative cases, detectives closed 1,087 and posted an overall 97.73 percent clearance rate.

Animal Control officer Rose Ogden patrolled approximately 18,451 miles and a total of 569 animals. Of those, 228 were cats, 305 were dogs and ten were small wildlife animals. “We still remain the only agency that will remove dead animals from the roadway and we still offer animal control services to the Town of Riverside,” Turley states.

Budget

The department expended 707.97 percent of its vehicle expense line item, due in part to the increase in fuel prices and repairs for older police vehicles. The department finished the year with 102.78 percent budget expenditure. Grants were received for an extra police vehicle and a night vision scope. The grants also allowed the SWAT team to upgrade to “proper tactical body armor in 2008,” the report said. Use of force cases was reduced from 20 last year to a mere seven in 2008. Turley attributes this decline in part to the continuing “Excellence in Training” program and the embracement of non-lethal technology.

Volunteerism

The Pell City Police Department’s Volunteer in Public Service (VIPS) Program made up of chaplains, explorers, reserves and civilian volunteers. Distinctions earned during 2008 in the VIPS program:

Volunteer Service Awards

* Fred Shirley-35.5 hours

* Juan Montalvo-50 hours

* Leslie Rogers-77 hours

* James Dendy-90 hours

* Brian Baker-156.5 hours (In Iraq)

* Johnny Cash-200 hours (Adult Bronze)

* Adam Armstrong-208.5 hours (Adult Bronze)

* Paul Lett 249 hours (Adult Silver)

* Ned Smith 1, 900+ hours (Adult Gold)

Pell City Police Department Explorers

* Drew Sanderson-84.5 hours

* Devon Clark-93.5 hours

* Angela Kay-95.5 hours

* Andrew Stone-130 hours (Junior Bronze)

* David Krehbiel-140 hours (Junior Bronze)

* Nena Poe-330 hours (Junior Gold)

* Tommy McDill-400 hours (Junior Gold)

“All volunteers worked a total of 5,626 hours for a cost savings of $78,088.88 to the city,” the report states.

Wellness

The department featured a 100 percent pass rate on its physical fitness test. Eleven officers attempted and passed the higher Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC) fitness standards.

Personnel

There are a total of 61 personnel in the department. There are 34 full-time sworn positions and six part-time sworn positions. Three full-time and four part-time non-sworn public safety aids are also on staff along with four chaplains, seven explorers, three VIPS and four reserves. “The department is short one full-time officer and has initiated a hiring freeze for 2009 in response to the current economic recession. The department is also short one Lieutenant position; it has now been vacant for 5 years,” Turley said. “Two officers are scheduled to attend a 12-week police academy in January and one officer will graduate in February. One newly graduated officer has begun his field training and should complete it in February. It will be spring of 2009 before these officers are fully deployable. Officer Patrick Bishop is still taking military leave and is currently stationed in Mississippi. His position is left unfilled.”

Internal Affairs

Nine complaints were investigated by internal affairs in 2008. “Three of the complaints were substantiated and six were unsubstantiated. Of the three that were substantiated, two officers were disciplined and one resigned prior to case closure,” the report states.

Fleet Status

Older vehicles with a lot of mileage placed the department at a critical maintenance level last year. The average model of the department’s patrol vehicles was a 2000 and the combined mileage was over four million miles. The former administration got the department eight vehicles through loans and a grant. The vehicles were not placed into operation until the middle of last year due to their late order. “This brought great relief to the agency’s maintenance and operations budget,” Turley said in the report. “In June, a 2006 patrol vehicle was lost in tragic vehicle accident that also claimed the life of Officer Greg Surles. The insurance company devalued the $30,000 coverage on the vehicle to only $10,600. The insurance company issued a check for only $9,600 (minus $1,000 deductible) and asked for a devalued list of equipment lost. Therefore, the agency has totally lost a new police vehicle in this 2008 accident,” Turley noted. Officers residing in the city limits drive 14 of the department’s vehicles home. Thirteen are left in the department’s parking lot.

Conclusion

“2008 was a very successful year for the Pell City Police Department. With a dropping crime rate, increase in productivity, and fewer accidents, the agency stands as the most proactive, professional agency in the area. The investigative division continues to have one of the highest clearance rates of any detective unit around and the SRO officers are covering more schools and classes than any time in the history of the department. The proactive operations of the patrol division and narcotics unit in 2008 has also led to the highest narcotics arrest rate in the history of this community,” Turley said.

“The basis of this successful annual report falls on the outstanding men and women of your police department and the support they receive from their family and community.”

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