Police Chief Rick Baker recently presented his 2020 departmental report to the Farmington City Council.
Baker also provided a PowerPoint program for the council members and those in the gallery to follow as he spoke. He began his annual presentation noting that the Farmington Police Department had responded to a total of 19,148 calls for service in 2020, which was a 6% increase from 2019.
From those calls for service, the police department generated 3,219 incident reports — about nine per day. Baker added that a large percentage of the incident reports required follow-up investigations and additional supplemental reports.
Moving on, Baker said a total of 985 arrests were made in 2020, averaging around 2.7 arrests per day. Officers responded to and investigated 666 motor vehicle crashes, a 15% decrease from 2019.
After reporting that his department had initiated 4,245 traffic stops, issued 1,653 traffic summons and 4,721 traffic warnings in 2020, Baker said, 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.
"Seventy-two motorists were arrested for driving while intoxicated and 28 for other alcohol related incidents such as underage possession and public intoxication," he said. "The police department also investigated 150 drug related incidents, and from those investigations made 122 arrests. Marijuana possession was the most prevalent drug abused, although we had several incidents involving prescription medications, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl."
While his officers responded to 50 drug overdose incidents in 2020, Baker told the council that none of them had resulted in death.
"The police and fire departments have been trained to administer NARCAN and it was utilized 27 times successfully in reviving overdose victims," he said. "And as a reminder, the police department continues to be a drop-off center for unwanted prescription medications."
Baker explained that crime is generally broken down into two categories — crimes against property and crimes against persons.
"Crimes against property, such as stealing (felonies/misdemeanors combined), account for approximately 64% of our overall crimes 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% of our overall crime statistics," he said. There were two homicides reported in 2020, both of which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution. There were five reported rapes, four or which were cleared by arrest or request for prosecution.
"In all reported rapes the victim knew the assailant. There were no random acts of violence," Baker said. "There were four reported robberies — one cleared by arrest, two were determined to be unfounded and one remains active. A suspect in the active incident has been identified but the location of the suspect is unknown."
Baker summarized his report to the council, saying history has shown 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. Crimes against property, especially theft, remains a concern. We need to minimize the opportunity by locking our homes and vehicles," he said. "And finally, Farmington continues to be a safe community to live in. Year after year, serious crimes against persons such as homicide, rape and robbery continue to be less than 2% of our overall crime statistics."
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or email@example.com
"Year after year, serious crimes against persons such as homicide, rape and robbery continue to be less than 2% of our overall crime statistics." – Police Chief Rick Baker