The police department is comprised of 22 full-time officers, two clerks and one mayor’s court clerk. Of the 22 full-time officers, there is one chief, one lieutenant, five 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 2013, officers handled 7,709 incidents, made 318 adult arrests, 95 juvenile arrests, and issued 2,321 citations.
Safety Awareness Day 2013
On April 27 the annual Safety Awareness Day was held at the Safety Center. A large number of visitors stopped by to see the many public safety exhibits that included a U.C. Hospital air care helicopter and the Hamilton County Police Association SWAT Mobile Command Center. Many area businesses assisted in sponsoring the event, which was free of charge, as always. The event provided community members the opportunity to interact with their public safety personnel and to view facilities and equipment. In addition to the open house, the department held its fourth 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.
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.
In the area of Homeland Security, the police department assigns an officer as a liaison to the Terrorism Early Warning Group (TEWG). The 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.
The department continued to support the Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force (DART). Montgomery is a founding member of the task force 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.
Public education at Safety Awareness Day
The partnership between the police department and Sycamore Community Schools continued to be strong in 2013. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program was presented to several hundred students in grades six and seven. Additionally, the School Resource Officer (SRO) at Sycamore High School continued to work with students and staff to provide a safe and secure learning environment. The SRO position is funded through a partnership with Sycamore Community Schools with the district paying 60% of the officer’s salary. In addition to the day-to-day activities, the SRO attended many extracurricular activities, such as dances, athletic events and meetings. Officers also presented a seat belt safety program to third graders at Montgomery Elementary School.
In 2013 the department initiated a project to develop emergency plans and procedures tailored to each school in the community. These plans were developed with input from the Hamilton County Police Chiefs Association, the FBI, Sycamore Community Schools and this department. They were designed to speed our response and efficiently manage large scale emergencies. We will be expanding this project to include other facilities located in the City in the future.
The Montgomery Mayor’s Court 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 2013, the Court heard cases involving over 1,736 offenses resulting in $230,204 in fines, court costs and computer fund charges. After assessing the required state fees, the City’s portion of the fund was $174,765.
The Montgomery Juvenile Court, with Referee Terry Donnellon presiding, heard 64 criminal cases. 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 third 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 a few 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.
Finally, in 2013, the police department received an award from the City’s insurance provider, Miami Valley Risk Management Association, for having zero losses. The department has received this award for five consecutive years. This award recognizes safety practices and policies within the department which prevent employee injuries and departmental insurance claims and are indicative of the priority that the police department and the City of Montgomery place on public safety and stewardship of resources.