Increased patrols and more community policing by Clairton officers made a significant impact in dealing with crime in the city last year.
Clairton police’s year-end call logs recently were released, showing an emphasis on outreach and being proactive.
Total calls for 2012 were 10,739, an increase of 1,525 calls from 2011, according to police documents.
There were 2,185 business/house checks last year, an increase of 642. Community oriented policing efforts totaled 334 cases, up by 157, and extra patrols increased from 439 to 997.
“I believe because there was a lower criminal rate throughout the summer, specifically dealing with juveniles, that led (us) to be able to do dif ferent community oriented policing calls,” police Chief Rob Hoffman said. “(It was) as simple as being able to get into the stores more often.”
Mayor Rich Lattanzi said he knows officers are doing everything in their power to make the streets safe for residents, and the department incorporated multiple programs last year to boost positive relationships with the public.
“I see them being more oriented as police officers interacting with the citizens of Clairton,” Lattanzi said.
In March and April, Clairton community police officer Jeff Nolte organized the Clairton City Public Safety Academy. It provided a weekly opportunity for residents and others to learn more about the police and fire departments, as well as to tour the Allegheny County Jail and Allegheny County 911 Center.
The mayor said police are doing a “bona fide job” in dealing with drug activity, keeping violent crimes to a minimum, and “taking the nonsense out of the streets.”
“We’re not going to sit back and allow someone to take over our town,” Lattanzi said.
Last year there were 17 reported drug dealings, down by 14 from 2011. Drug offenses were 63, up by 43 from 2011. Burglaries totaled 123, a decrease of 19. Assaults totaled 65, down by 16. Animal complaints numbered 183, down by 49. Criminal mischiefs totaled 144, an increase of 24. Juvenile complaints totaled 169, up by 30, and loud noise complaints totaled 37, down by 30. Criminal mischief calls numbered 144, up by 24. Curfew complaints totaled five, a decrease of 14. Thefts numbered 243, an increase of 42.
Police arrested 583 adults, down by five, and 162 juveniles, down by 38. Officers issued 1,114 citations in 2012, an increase of 91.
“My opinion on the year is the first three quarters of the year remained the same,” Hoffman said. “There was a feeling of less type of crimes that would suspect that you’re going to have violent crimes.”
No homicides occurred last year; 2011 saw a single fatality. However, attempted homicides went up from one to four last year.
School details were listed at 75 in 2012, an increase of 58.
“There were safety precautions made to benefit the students and staff,” Clairton City School District spokesperson Alexis Trubiani said. “They were outside to assist with dismissals. Any extra help is always welcome; any collaboration between the city and school’s always appreciated.”
Hoffman said officers were involved in afterschool programs. The department has heard no negative feedback about those efforts.
Reports also show little to no change in other calls such as 911 hang-ups, disturbed persons, fireworks complaints, hazards, Protection From Abuse order violations, prostitution, public drunkenness, sex offenses, terroristic threats and shots fired.
Clairton police have eight full-time and 15 part-time officers, the same number as in 2011 and 2012.
“We’re looking to maintain our objective and to maintain our code of ethics and our objectives that we’ve always maintained,” Hoffman said. “We’re hoping for another year with even less violence and being able to work with the community to keep them safe. That’s what we’re here for.”
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965 or firstname.lastname@example.org.