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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Caseload increases for Pratt police officers

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    • 2013 cases
      • 170 Larceny (Theft)

      • 141 Traffic violation

      • 104 Drug violation

      • 93 Criminal damage to property

      • 81 Burglaries ...
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      2013 cases
      • 170 Larceny (Theft)
      • 141 Traffic violation
      • 104 Drug violation
      • 93 Criminal damage to property
      • 81 Burglaries (Breaking and entering)
      • 56 Domestic disturbance
      • 44 Disorderly conduct
      • 32 Civil disturbances
      • 26 Liquor violation
      • 22 DUI
      • 19 Trespassing
      • 19 Runaway reports
      • 12 Sex offenses
      • 10 Stalking
      • 1 Manufacturing of explosives
      • 1 Homicide
  • If Pratt police officers feel like they have been busier than usual in 2013 than in previous years, they would be right.
    In 2012, officers filed 65 criminal cases in District Court with 101 of those adult and 64 juvenile cases.
    So far in 2013, officers have filed 190 criminal cases, with 43 of those juvenile cases, and they still have four months to go, said Chief Gary Myers.
    The number of cases filed in Municipal Court has also increased over 2012 when a total of 1,135 criminal and traffic cases were filed.
    Besides the criminal cases, officers answer many calls for animal problems, assisting the public, providing escorts for funerals and money transfers and other duties.
    The Department has 62 case categories. Each case in each category requires the officer to work the case then spend time processing an official report. Over the past three years the number of crimes has gone way up.
    A possible reason for the increase in crime is the increase in construction and in the oil and gas industry. While this brings many new people into the area, not all of them are perfect, Myers said.
    Officers are now spending 40 percent of duty time on paper work alone, in order to meet requirements, Myers said.
    When an officer has time, they will tackle the paper work. But if another call comes in, they have to stop and go handle the new call that creates more paper work and can put the officer behind in getting the work completed.
    When he first started in law enforcement some 38 years ago, Myers said officers would write a narrative then a clerk typist would type up the report. Now the officers do electronic submittals themselves and that requires a lot of work.
    So far in 2013, Pratt Police officers have worked about 7,500 cases that require a report. If the trend continues, it will reach 12,000 case reports by the end of the year. That amounts to 100 reports for each officer every month or about three reports every day of the year.
    The highest number of cases has been in drugs, burglary and theft and that trend is expected to continue.
    Officers spend a lot of time working on drug related crimes that are becoming more prevalent.
    "We conduct an aggressive campaign against drugs," Myers said. "My officers work extremely hard to be proactive when dealing with issues relating to the possession, sale, distribution and manufacture of dangers drugs which are commonly associated with the commission of other crimes."
    With a proactive attitude, the department expects to solve cases then follow up and get leads to solve even more cases. A recent case used these tactics and resulted in several arrests.
    Page 2 of 2 - Currently, the Pratt Police Department has 12 uniformed officers. They work as four teams with an A and B Team on both the day and night shift. A minimum or three officers are on duty at all times. They work 12-hour shifts.
    Officers don't have enough time on a shift to patrol every street but they are constantly on the move and don't use the same patrol pattern every night so their movements are unpredictable.
    When they get several calls at once, officers have to prioritize calls and handle the most serious first.
    They have recently handled a rash of juvenile car burglaries resulting in charges against several suspects.
    "I can honestly tell everyone, that no matter who comes in or reports a crime, my officers take every call seriously and try to bring their investigations to successful conclusions," Myers said. "While it's not possible to solve each and every crime reported or to make every one happy all of the time, I do know that my officers are going to work hard, work diligently and work in an honest and ethical manner."
    A lot of positive comments from the public have reached Myers recently and he is eager to express his gratitude to officers.
    "These officers have worked hared to make Pratt the safe community that it is," Myers said.
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