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The two major items covered during Thursday night’s Farmington City Council meeting were Police Chief Rick Baker’s annual departmental report and an audit report given by a representative of Hochschild, Bloom & Company LLP.

Baker began his report by informing the council members that the Farmington Police Department responded to 16,215 calls for service in 2018 — a 3 percent increase over 2017.

“From the reported calls for service, the police department generated 3,733 incident reports, or approximately 10 per day,” he said. “A large percentage of the incident reports required follow-up investigations and additional supplemental reports.”

Baker then provided a number of crime statistics for the city in 2018:

The police department made 1,361 arrests and approximately 3.7 arrests per day. It responded to and investigated 766 motor vehicle crashes — a 3.5 percent decrease from 2017. Private property vehicle crashes accounted for 28 percent of the total number of vehicle crashes.

Last year, Baker’s department initiated 4,995 traffic stops, issued 2,202 traffic summons and 5,854 traffic warnings.

“Officers do not have a citation quota, but they are required to conduct traffic enforcement and stop motorists who are disobeying traffic related laws and ordinances,” he explained.

Fifty motorists were arrested for driving while intoxicated and 20 others for other alcohol-related incidents such as underage possession, public intoxication, etc. The police department investigated 198 drug-related incidents and from those investigations made 202 arrests.

“Marijuana possession was the most prevalent drug abused, although we had several incidents involving prescription medications, methamphetamine, heroin and synthetic marijuana, or K2,” Baker said. “The police department responded to 42 drug overdose incidents. Twenty-two were from prescription medications; nine from heroin; two from meth; one from morphine; one from aerosol, one from K2 and six were undetermined at the scene.

“One of the 42 drug overdose incidents resulted in death. Both the police and fire departments have been trained to administer NARCAN and it was utilized 12 times successfully in reviving overdose victims. And as a reminder, the police department continues to be a drop-off center for unwanted prescription medications.”

Baker informed the council that crime is generally broken down into two categories — crimes against property and crimes against persons.

“Crimes against property, such as stealing — felonies and misdemeanors combined — account for approximately 46 percent of our overall crime statistics,” he said. “These types of crimes are generally ‘crimes of opportunity’ and can be reduced significantly if citizens would lock their automobiles and residences. Serious crimes against persons, such as homicides, rape and robbery, continue to be less than 2 percent of our overall crime statistics.”

According to Baker, no homicides were reported in the city for 2018. There were, however, 10 reported rapes — nine of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution.

“In all reported rapes, the victim knew the assailant,” he said. “There were no random acts of violence."

Baker went on to say that, of the nine robberies reported last year, eight were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution.

“All reported robberies were either shoplifting incidents where force or threats of force occurred to employees of the businesses — or they stemmed from drug-related incidents,” he said.

Summarizing his report, Baker noted that historical statistics show that crime in the city of Farmington does not increase significantly on a year-to-year basis.

“We do see slight increases and decreases in specific crime categories,” he said. “Crimes against property — especially theft — remains a concern."

In the city’s audit report presented by Tammy Alsop of Hochschild, Bloom & Company, Farmington appeared to be in fine shape financially.

Alsop spent approximately 15 minutes going through specific parts of the audit and at the conclusion of her presentation said, “I do want to say that everything went fine with the audit. We had no problems. Everyone cooperated and I really appreciate that. I appreciate everything that [Finance Director Michelle Daniel] does. She does an awesome job, I mean, she does the financial statements and does an awesome job, I think. I do appreciate that everyone was very receptive when talking to us. I do want to thank everybody."

Mayor Larry Forsythe commented that this was the first year for the city’s audit to have been performed by Hochschild, Bloom & Company.

“For the last 25 years that I know of, this is one of the first times that we went out of our scope of the city, you know, or the county to get an audit done and I’m very glad that we did,” he said. "The man that is missing that was really structurally behind that was (Councilman) Crouch. He was very, very happy with going with you and we are very happy too. It worked out very well. I know we might have stepped on some feelings of some locals, but that’s what you have to do and to continue on like we have to. Thank you very much.”

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Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or kjenkins@farmingtonpressonline.com

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