The Pratt Police Department statistics reveal crime was down in 2017
A significant drop in burglaries was recorded in 2017 when compared to 2016.
Pratt Police Chief Gary Myers said burglaries against residential and commercial properties was 32 in 2017, a significant drop from the 108 burglaries in 2016.
Burglaries to vehicles were also down dramatically with 118 in 2016 but just 16 burglaries against vehicles in 2017.
Myers said he attributed the drop to successful prosecutions in the Pratt County Attorney's Office. There had been a bottle neck in the court system in getting cases settled and more cases kept piling on but now the cases seem to be running smoother resulting in more convictions.
More convictions means more people going to jail and with the people committing the crimes off the streets, the number of crimes goes down, Myers said.
There has also been a drop in the number of both felony and misdemeanor drug arrests. In 2016, there were 40 felony drug cases. That dropped to 25 felony cases in 2017. In misdemeanor cases, the number dropped from 55 in 2016 to 46 in 2017.
With his officers spread pretty thin, it was good to see the number of burglaries and drug cases going down.
Myers said he felt the drop burglaries and drug cases could be related because some drug uses would resort to burglary to feed their addiction. Prosecute the drug users and the number of burglary cases would drop as well.
With more persecutions, offenders are learning that if they commit a crime, they will be prosecuted and have to serve time. It is not a commit a crime then pay bail and get right back out on the street situation.
Other areas also showed decrease in 2017. The number of aggravated assaults (threatening bodily harm with a weapon of any kind) decreased from 13 in 2016 to 8 in 2017.
Simple assaults decreased from 44 to 30 and domestic violence also dropped from 43 to 28. Myers said he couldn't find any specific reason assault and battery were going down.
The number of motor vehicle accidents involving property damage showed a drop as well. In 2016, there were 201 accidents compared to 174 in 2017. The total number of injury accidents did increase from 8 to 12 with not fatal accidents in either year, Myers said.
Municipal court cases were also down slightly for 2017 with 1,109 cases, a drop of 66 cases from 2016.
Other categories for 2017 included 9 DUI (down 3), other traffic violations 958 (up 14), criminal cases against persons 30 (down 4), crimes against property 53 (up 12), other crimes 58 (up 15).
Not every category showed a change in 2017. There were 67 disturbance calls in 2016 and 66 in 2017.
In total, the police department responded to 1,352 incidents in 2017 and was also down from 1,714 in 2016.
Incident breakdown by month:
• January 104.
• February 90.
• March 110.
• April 104.
• May 129.
• June 90.
• July 116.
• August 126.
• September 130.
• October 119.
• November 137.
• December 97.
The Pratt Police Department has 14 commissioned officers, 2 detectives, 5 in dispatch and 1 municipal court officer. Myers said he would like to have three patrol officers on duty at all times with two sets rotating for both 12 hour shifts with three officers on duty every shift. But some times, because of illness or time off or training, he only has two officers on duty and there will always be a minimum of two on duty.
Myers said he recently had two dispatch officers resign within three days of each other. Both had other job opportunities. Both of those positions have been filled, one that started Feb. 9.
Total number of miles patrolled in 2017 was 112,739 and that fits in the average that runs from 100,000 to 120,000 a year.
"We put a lot of miles on vehicles," Myer said.
The department uses over 7,300 gallons of fuel a year and the cost varies from year to year depending on the cost of gasoline.