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Huron Police chief releases annual report

Posted: Monday, Mar 3rd, 2014

Keynote speaker Dr. Kelly Steffen, a cardiologist from Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls talks to attendees of the Go Red … Taste of Your Heart event held Thursday at the Huron Community Campus. It was the 10th anniversary of the event that is hosted by Huron Regional Medical Center. PHOTO COURTESY OF HURON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

HURON — In his 2013 annual report, Chief of Police Gary Will Jr. said there were 2,143 crimes reported last year, or a 25 percent decrease from the 2,685 crimes investigated in 2012.

But as a reminder, he said 2012 saw an increase of 20 percent over the 2011 numbers.

“Of those reported crimes, we made 1,411 arrests that is an approximate decrease of 21 percent over the arrests made in 2012,” Will said.

Because of the department’s record system, he said it’s unknown how much of the changes are due to better data collection and how much is actual criminal activity changing.

“Until we have a few years of data collection with our new records management system, we do not recommend that the increases or decreases be considered as an indicator of crime trends in the city,” Will wrote in his report.

Also, he noted that several crimes can occur in one incident by one person or by multiple individuals.

“We have cases of one person committing 16 different crimes and others where five people committed one crime,” he said.

Crimes occurring in 2012 but reported in 2013 are counted in the 2013 numbers.

In 2013, the reported value of all property stolen was $284,217, slightly higher than the $273,353 reported stolen in 2012.

The department recovered $71,746 of stolen property in 2013 compared with $134,709 in 2012.

An additional $102,379 in property damage was reported last year compared to $111,231 in 2012.

They are reported numbers, and the actual amount is much higher because many victims did not know or would not give police an estimate of the value of their property taken, recovered or damaged.

There were 620 traffic crashes in the city last year, slightly more than the 613 in 2012. The 2012 figure was down 27 percent from the 835 crashes in 2011.

In 2013, there were 42 injury crashes but no fatalities. Police issued 2,220 traffic citations last year compared with 2,251 in 2012.

Will’s report also included awards and honors bestowed to officers and members of the public in 2013.

• Officer of the Year: Patrol Sgt. Brandon Neitzert.

• 911 Telecommunicator of the Year: Hannah Heyd.

• Medal of Valor: Officer Mark Johnson and Officer Tim Opheim. On March 10, they entered a smoke-filled apartment without proper safety equipment to rescue the man living there. A fire occurred in the kitchen and they entered at great risk to their own lives.

• Merit Award: Sgt. Brandon Neitzert, Officer Cory Borg and Officer Derek Layher. On March 1, they assisted Beadle County authorities in locating a runaway who was lost in a snow-covered field without proper clothing.

• Merit Award: Sgt. Dan Schlader. He acted as shift supervisor from Aug. 28 to Dec. 2 while there was no captain assigned to the shift.

For the complete article see the 03-02-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-02-2014 paper.

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