GREENFIELD — It was a busy 2022 for law enforcement with the Greenfield Police Department. As run numbers increase to coincide with growth in the area, the department is also in the midst of hiring a few more officers to keep the staff at full force in order to protect the community.
Officials from the GPD have released official statistics for 2022 on police officer runs and reports filed compared to 2021 stats. The numbers show an increase in almost every category tabulated with only a few exceptions.
“The City of Greenfield has been growing at an alarming rate,” Chief of Police, Brian Hartman said, adding that an increase in report numbers is only logical.
Officers from GPD responded to a total of 23,858 calls in 2022. That’s an increase of 234 calls from the 2021 numbers. One of the areas where a major increase was noted was traffic stops. Officers were the busiest pulling drivers over, with 4,977 traffic stops in 2022, an increase of 1,522 stops from 2021.
Deputy Chief Chuck McMichael noted the increase in traffic stop numbers are obviously way up, some 44%, and that led to increases in other areas, such as arrests for operating while intoxicated, more people with warrants, more drug arrests and other intake categories.
“Many of these arrests are warrant-related in that the jail is now accepting — for local warrants — adding to the increase in that number,” McMichael said.
With an increase in community growth, officials note it’s pretty common to have an increase in criminal arrests. The number increased by 213 more arrests in 2022 to 502 criminal arrests, up from 289 criminal arrests in 2021.
Case report numbers increased as well in 2022 to 1,603, an uptick of 240 new case reports.
While most numbers across the books did go up, the department showed a decrease in two areas: crash reports and security checks. Crashes were down 103 reports in 2022 from 466 crashes in 2021 and security checks decreased by 586 checks to 5,819 from the 6,405 security checks in 2021.
Still, an overall increase in most statistics back the need for the department to continue to hire more officers to keep up with growth in 2023.
The department is currently in the process of bringing two new officers into the mix. They have two potential hires standing by who have completed their physical and psychological exams. Officials are only waiting on the doctor sign-off to bring the two new employees on board.
“They should be hired in February,” McMichael said.
Aside from that, the department is currently doing background investigations on two other potential officers who are on their hiring list to fill their two openings, plus there is a retirement pending.
After adding the two new positions to the department at the beginning of 2023, that will take the total number of officers to 44. Hartman said he is thankful for the two new positions they received this year as it helps the department deal with the increased work in the investigation division.
Last year, they moved an officer to the full-time DARE officer position as well as put an officer on parking enforcement and community relations.
“These new positions will help offset an increase in numbers as well,” Hartman said. “There are several things we as a city and a department we would like to do and it will take more officers to do this, but there is always the bottom line of money.”
Hartman noted he will continue to ask for more officers during budget meetings and explain the need to the city council as they are the ones who will determine if there is enough funding to bring on more officers in the future.
“I feel, with the numbers we have now, we are handling the call volume and all of the things we are committed to be a part of,” Hartman said. “I feel as the city continues to grow so will the police department, and we will continue to implement new ideas and programs to better serve the community.”
The hiring process they’re doing right now will be for one open position, since they’ve earmarked the other four slots, McMichael said.
They expect to have another officer retire early this year, indicating a need to hire another officer in order to keep up with the growth.
Greenfield Police Department 2022 Stats
Total Calls: 24,858; increase of 234
Case Reports: 1,603; increase of 240
Criminal Arrests: 502; increase of 213
Traffic Stops: 4,977; increase of 1,522
Security Checks: 6,405; decrease of 586
Crash Reports: 466; decrease of 103