The police department is comprised of 21 full-time officers, two clerks and one Mayor’s Court clerk. Of the 21 full-time officers, there is one chief, one lieutenant, four sergeants, two detectives, one drug abuse resistance education (D.A.R.E.) officer, one school resource officer (SRO), one traffic safety officer, and ten patrol officers. In 2012, officers responded to 4,963 calls for service, made 385 adult arrests, 105 juvenile arrests, and issued 2,004 traffic citations. The police department continues to utilize Problem Oriented Policing (POP) principles, where problem solving and addressing the underlying issues that cause problems is a primary focus.
In 2012 the police department identified an area of I-275 at I-71 where an unusually high number of traffic crashes, many involving injury, were occurring. The police department, along with other City departments, and the Ohio Department of Transportation, used these POP problem solving techniques to make improvements to the roadway. In the six months following the changes, the frequency and severity of crashes were significantly decreased. This is just one example of the police and other City departments working collaboratively with other agencies to solve problems in the community.
In addition to working with other governmental agencies, the police department routinely works across departmental lines with other city employees to address problems facing the City of Montgomery. Employees often work in teams with a specific focus to improve the delivery of city services.
Sergeant Mike Plaatje readies unwanted drugs for disposal
On April 28, the annual Safety Awareness Day was held at the Safety Center. A large number of visitors stopped to see the many public safety exhibits that included a K-9 unit from Madeira and the Hamilton County Police Association Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Mobile Command Center. Many area businesses assist in sponsoring the event, which is free of charge. The event provides community members the opportunity to interact with their public safety personnel and to view safety facilities and equipment. In addition to the open house, the department held its third Prescription Drug Take Back event at Bethesda North Hospital. This effort, in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, netted the largest volume of prescription drugs of any collection site within Hamilton County.
Public Education Efforts
Officer Mike Davenport demonstrates
fingerprinting techniques at Safety Awareness Day
The police department continued its public education efforts by conducting the annual Safety Village program for five and six-year-old children. The program teaches children about school bus safety, animal safety, stranger safety and other safety related topics. The program is offered over a two-week period in the month of June, and the children attend a morning or afternoon session for a period of one week. Other public education programs included crime prevention training, bike safety classes, Internet safety, and addressing neighborhood associations and other groups on a variety of other issues. Additionally, the police department upgraded its home and business security surveys in 2012 to include a detailed report, with digital photos, that includes written recommendations for the homeowner or business owner/manager.
Terrorism Early Warning Group
In the area of homeland security, the police department assigned an officer as a liaison to the Terrorism Early Warning Group (TEWG). TEWG is a regional cooperative effort among public safety and health agencies throughout the Greater Cincinnati area to address potential terrorist activity. Increased information and resource sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies continues to improve the overall effort of combating terrorism.
Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force (DART)
The department continued to support the Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force (DART). Montgomery is a founding member of the task force that was formed in 1988, and periodically assigns officers to the task force. DART is comprised of approximately 15 local law enforcement agencies that primarily address drug enforcement at the local level. The task force also has a pharmaceutical diversion unit that investigates physicians, nursing staff, and pharmacy staff suspected of abusing drugs, forging, altering, or writing illegal prescriptions, or trafficking in drugs.
D.A.R.E. public education exhibit
The partnership between the police department and Sycamore Community Schools continues to be strong. The D.A.R.E. Program was presented to several hundred students in grades six and seven. For the eleventh year in a row, the police department received a $10,000 grant to assist with funding the D.A.R.E. Program. Additionally, the SRO at Sycamore High School continues to work with students and staff to provide a safe and secure learning environment. The SRO position is funded through a partnership with Sycamore Schools with the district paying 60% of the officer’s salary. In addition to the day-to-day activities, the SRO attends many extracurricular activities, such as dances, athletic events and meetings. Officers also presented a seat-belt safety program to third grade students at Montgomery Elementary School.
The Montgomery Mayor’s Court, which is held three times each month, hears most of the City’s misdemeanor and traffic cases, including first offenses of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under suspension. In 2012 the Court heard cases involving over 2284 offenses resulting in $207,167.00 in fines, court costs and computer fund charges. After assessing the required state fees, the City’s portion of the fund was $155,054.00.
The Montgomery Juvenile Court, with Referee Terry Donnellon presiding, heard 65 criminal cases in 2012. The disposition of these cases often resulted in community service being performed by the offender. Serious criminal cases, second offenders, and all juvenile traffic cases are sent directly to the Hamilton County Juvenile Court system and are heard by a Juvenile Court Judge.
- For the second year in a row the police department received the American Automobile Association’s Platinum Award. The Platinum Award is the highest award given by the association to agencies demonstrating outstanding success in addressing community traffic safety issues. Montgomery was one of nine communities within the greater Cincinnati region to receive the award.
- In addition, the department received a silver award from the Hamilton County OVI Task force for its participation in working within the region to combat driving while intoxicated. Two Montgomery Officer’s received the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers “Top Cop” award for their diligence in arresting intoxicated drivers.
- Finally, the Police Department received an award from the City’s insurance provider, Miami Valley Risk Management Association, for having zero losses. This award recognizes safety practices and policies within the department which prevent employee injuries and departmental insurance claims.