The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 29, 2014

Carthage police, fire officials present 2013 department reports

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Though the shifts were not dramatic, the Carthage Police Department noted a decrease in calls for service while the Carthage Fire Department cited an increase in responses in the departments’ annual reports for 2013.

The reports, presented to the City Council on Tuesday, also detailed the departments’ training and efforts to prevent crime and fires.

The Police Department responded to 31,800 calls for service during the year, according to Chief Greg Dagnan.

“That’s 87 calls a day,” he told the council. “I don’t mean calls to the department; I mean calls where officers went out.”

Dagnan noted that some calls are generated by officers’ efforts. For example, he said 113 of the calls were unsecured doors found during the 10,789 business security checks done in the year.

Total calls for service were down from 34,086 the year before. Arrest totals also were down, at 5,057 compared with 6,192 a year earlier.

Part 1 crimes — those classified as most serious — totaled 766, with 478 cleared after officers’ investigations.

“Our clearance rate is 62 percent, which is a lot higher than the national average,” Dagnan said.

Among the most serious crimes, Carthage officers during the year investigated 263 assaults, 72 burglaries, four robberies, 409 larcenies, 14 vehicle thefts, three rapes and one murder. Police responded to 200 accidents, down slightly from 208 a year earlier.

The report also detailed special programs by the department, including a domestic violence follow-up effort, a community team policing program that focused on neighborhoods in west Carthage, and a phone notification system to track the well-being of residents.

The department continued its annual Christmas party for needy children, conducted its 21st Citizens Police Academy, supported Special Olympics and involved young volunteers in an Explorer Scout program.

Fire Chief Chris Thompson said one of his goals for 2014 is starting a Citizens Fire Academy.

The department responded to 1,646 incidents in 2013, compared with 1,623 in 2012. The number reflects total responses in the city and the 160-square-mile fire district.

Inside Carthage, crews made 1,003 responses, including 22 fires involving residential structures, five at commercial structures, 11 in vehicles, and 12 in grass and brush. The department also responded to 79 traffic accidents, 606 medical calls, 16 calls involving hazardous materials and 252 miscellaneous incidents.

In the district, crews made 643 responses — 25 house fires, 21 vehicle fires, 24 grass and brush fires, 150 vehicle accidents, 201 medical calls, 15 hazardous materials responses, 46 mutual-aid calls, and 161 miscellaneous responses.

The report also noted department members’ monthly visits to students at Carthage Head Start and buying Christmas gifts for the youngsters.

Downtown fire

ALL EMPLOYEES of the Carthage Fire Department, along with police officers and other agencies in the region, responded to a June 6 blaze on the courthouse square. Though one building burned, the response prevented the fire from consuming adjoining businesses, fire Chief Chris Thompson said.

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