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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Police take aggressive approach to crime

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    • 2013 Pratt Police stats
      • 74,930 miles on patrol.

      • 686 Traffic citations.

      • 25 DUI arrests.

      • 964 municipal court cases filed.

      • 8,78...
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      2013 Pratt Police stats
      • 74,930 miles on patrol.
      • 686 Traffic citations.
      • 25 DUI arrests.
      • 964 municipal court cases filed.
      • 8,783 calls for service (9,130 in 2012.)
      • 1,611 criminal cases (1,650 in 2012.)
      • 219 motor vehicle accidents (222 in 2012.)
      Crimes with biggest change
      First number is 2013, second is 2012. All others crimes were within just a few numbers of each other.
      • Assault and battery: 47-79
      • Burglary: 105-96
      • Counterfeiting: 9-21
      • Criminal damage: 112-148
      • Disorderly conduct: 57-83
      • Drug violation:129-95
      • Forgerys: 3-10
      • Identity theft: 11-5
      • Larceny: 269-241
      • Lost/found/seized property: 87-68
      • Trespassing: 24-33
      • Warrant arrests: 77-37
      • Warrant arrest outside agency: 16-8
  • Although they don't leave the city, Pratt Police officers spend a lot of time patrolling Pratt. In 2013 they racked up 74,930 patrol miles, the equivalent of driving around the planet three times.
    In 2013 the department received 8,783 calls for service with August the busiest month at 1,213 calls and September with the fewest calls at 922, just two less than February at 924.
    For the year, the total number of investigations was less than in 2012. However the number of serious crimes was up. Drug violations, larceny and burglary all showed increases. Hard work is credited to officers filing more cases in those areas.
    "It is my opinion that the increase in certain areas of criminal activity is based on the proactive aggressive investigations and enforcement activities of the officers of the Pratt Police Department. In other words, they are making cases by their enforcement and investigation practices," said Pratt Police Chief Gary Myers.
    However, assault and battery, criminal damage to property, counterfeiting and forgery, domestic violence all showed decreases.
    Evidence of the departments efforts are seen in the various cases filed in District Court. A total of 342 cases were filed in District Court in 2013 and 250 of those came from the police department. The police department also filed the biggest percentage of cases for felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile cases both felonies and misdemeanors.
    The rest of the caseload came from Pratt County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
    Drugs are a major concern in Pratt as they are across the country.
    "The officers of the Pratt Police Department work extremely hard to be proactive when dealing with issues relating to the possession, sale, distribution and manufacture of dangerous drugs, which are commonly associated with the commission of other crimes," Myers said.
    None of the changes were surprising to Myers except the homicide. Those are very rare in Pratt and when they do happen, it requires a lot of involvement from every department.
    The last homicide in Pratt was Nov. 22, 2008.
    The department is still actively working on the double fatality fire on Dec. 23 so that takes up a lot of time as well.
    Why some crimes go up and some go down is very difficult to determine. Some have suggested that the influx of oil field workers in the area might be the reason some crime statistics are up but Myers said nothing specific pointed to that group.
    It's hard to point a finger and say why these things are happening," Myers said.
    Myers said he would have to leave it to analysts to figure out why some crime goes up and some goes down.
    The Pratt Police Department has 12 officers, Myers and Captain Assistant Chief Jeff Ward. During a regular shift, two officers are on patrol and one is a supervisor. More officers can be called in if necessary such as working an accident on First Street with heavy traffic.
    Page 2 of 2 - Officers also respond to fires to block off traffic on the street.
    Because of the limited number of officers, the department has to prioritize calls so someone calling for an officer may have to wait if another event is more serious. Pratt has a lot of dog calls and someone calling about a dog running loose may have to wait to get assistance.
    "I would honestly like to say that no matter who comes into the Pratt Police Department or calls to report a crime, the officers take every call seriously and try to bring every investigation to successful conclusions," Myers said.

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