DANVERS POLICE DEPARTMENT
State of the Department
The Danvers Police Department is a community service law enforcement organization striving to maintain the safety of its citizens, while the department focuses on quality of life issues and the resolution of conflict within our community. The core values that the department relies on to deliver quality police services include:
- Maintaining high standards of integrity and ethics;
- Protecting constitutional rights;
- Problem solving and order maintenance;
- Collaborating and partnering with citizens;
- Reducing crime and fear of crime and
- Protecting vulnerable populations.
The Danvers Police Department is comprised of forty-six (46) Sworn Officers, nine (9) Civilian Dispatchers, one (1) Executive Assistant, one (1) Crime Analyst, one (1) Full-time and one (1) Part-time Records Room Secretary and a K-9 named Falco.
Sworn Officers consists of one (1) Chief of Police, two (2) Captains, three (3) Lieutenants, eight (8) Sergeants, three (3) Detectives, one (1) School Resource Officer and a Grant funded part-time G.R.E.A.T Officer, one (1) K-9 Officer and twenty-six (26) Police Men and Women.
- Protect life and property
- Preserve the peace
- Prevent crime through partnerships and problem solving
- Detect and arrest violators
- Enforce all laws and ordinances coming within departmental jurisdiction.
- Maintain order at public functions and community events
Fiscal Year 2010 showed an overall reduction in calls for service (down 5%) and arrests (down 36%). A portion of the reduction in calls for service can be attributed to the implementation of Alarm Response Billing. Arrests decreased primarily in categories such as Warrant Arrests and Motor Vehicle Offenses. Both of these arrest categories are not the result of actual criminal activity but the result of proactive policing strategies. An increase or decrease of those arrests would not necessarily reflect the same fluctuation in overall crime.
Decreases were noted in almost every Crime Against a Person, and there were not any statistically significant increases. In regards to Crime Against Property, a significant increase was noted in Housebreaks (+47%). Housebreaks have seen dramatic increases in neighboring communities as well. Shoplifting has also increased significantly (+20%). The spike in shoplifting may not necessarily reflect an increase in the number of shoplifting occurring in town, but could represent a higher number of offenders being caught by Loss Prevention at stores. Minor increases were also noted in Fraud/Forgery, and Larceny from a Motor Vehicle. Property crime decreases were seen in Motor Vehicle Theft (-48%), Commercial Burglaries (-40%), and Vandalism. The Crimes against Society including Drug offenses, Liquor Law Offenses, and Operating Under the Influence showed decreases during the fiscal year.
The Department’s primary goal is to provide the community with affordable quality police services, while enhancing supporting infrastructure and technologies, to enable our forces to work more efficiently. The nerve center of our agency and the public safety coordinating point within the community is our Communications Center. The center is currently housed in our police station and was last updated in the nineteen-nineties. Currently Motorola has notified us that they can no longer guarantee parts for the radio infrastructure. The current location and design of the facility was deemed to be unsuitable for its important mission during the CAI/Arnell blast in 2006. We have convened a town-wide working committee to replace the existing facility. We will strive to move this project forward this coming fiscal year.
The department is currently working toward its National and State Accreditation process during the current fiscal year. This process is required every three years and we have decided to merge both on-sites for April of 2010. Accreditation not only ensures the community that the department operates within nationally accepted state of the art guidelines, but reduces liability insurance premiums for the Town. Our personnel continue to display a commitment to professional policing often requiring adjustments in operational practices to comply with ever changing national accreditation standards.
Technology is an area that will enable the department to continuously improve service quality while allowing personnel to work smarter and more efficiently. Current objectives include computer aided dispatch with a centralized mapping program, to allow dispatch and supervisory personnel to view current location status, for more efficient deployment of public safety assets throughout the community. Various communications tools will allow real-time emergency communications with the citizens of Danvers while reducing redundant telephone traffic. Next generation dispatch technologies will allow for two way emergency communications with our stakeholders enabling the sharing of text messaging, video and pictures. We are currently working with Danversbank to fund an emergency communications tool which will connect multiple private sector stakeholders for real-time two-way emergency communications within the community.
The ability and authorization to deploy force against our citizens is a responsibility we take very seriously and utilize judiciously. The advent of certain less lethal technologies over the past several years has allowed law enforcement to control violent situations without having to resort to deadly force. Electronic control devices better known as “tasers” have been one such tool that has prevented suspect and officer injuries. The increase in emotionally disturbed persons within society has increased the value of this technology. Several police shootings have occurred across the commonwealth involving emotionally disturbed persons in departments, which have not had access to electronic control devices. I look forward to arming department members with these devices this year, to minimize the need for the unnecessary deployment of deadly force in these circumstances. Studies have also shown departments who have deployed electronic control devices have reduced officer injuries due to the reduction of violent physical encounters with subjects.
Community interaction and partnerships are two areas where the department excels in providing quality law enforcement services to the community. School outreach through drug resistance education and gang resistance education will be the focus of our school resource officers this year. The G.R.E.A.T. program is a federally funded part-time curriculum within the middle school. Neighborhood watch programs as well as crime prevention focused on our elder population will be areas, which the department is expanding this year.
We look forward to further reductions in crime and disorder as a result of partnering with our community members. The continuation of our community based programs including the Citizen’s Police Academy, RAD Classes, Juvenile Youth Academy, Downtown Business Committee, Community Collaborative and DanversCARES programs will keep the department in touch with stakeholders within the community. We continue to appreciate the support of the Town of Danvers and its residents provide to the Police Department.
Neil F. Ouellette,
Chief of Police