2016 Annual Report
The police department is responsible for providing safety services to the community including crime prevention and education. The police department is comprised of 22 full-time officers, two full-time customer service representatives and one full-time mayor’s court clerk. Of the 22 full-time officers, there is one chief, one assistant chief (captain), five sergeants, two detectives, one officer assigned to the Drug Abuse Reduction Taskforce (DART), one school resource officer (SRO), one traffic safety officer, and ten patrol officers. In 2016, officers handled 11,719 incidents, made 239 adult arrests and 47 juvenile arrests, and issued 1,700 citations.
In 2016, the Police and Fire Department hosted a session of the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy at the Montgomery Safety Center. In the past, this session was held at the Hamilton County Regional Emergency Operations Center. The event provided community members the opportunity to interact with the public safety personnel and to view facilities and equipment. New to the session for 2016 was the addition of the Firearms Training Simulator or FATS machine. Several class participants experienced the challenge of deciding when to use deadly force or not while in several scenarios. The class received very positive reviews and high marks for interaction.
In February, the department added an Internet Purchase/Exchange Zone in the Safety Center parking lot for residents to utilize when meeting sellers or buyers. The area is under 24-hour video surveillance and provides a safer area to meet and conduct sales.
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.
After many years of use, the Ford Fairlane vintage police car utilized by the police department for community relations was decommissioned. The vehicle was declared un-roadworthy by a certified mechanic. In an effort to extend the life of the vehicle it was donated to the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society where it will be used as a static display and will maintain the Montgomery logo.
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 14 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.
The partnership between the police department and Sycamore Community Schools continued in 2016. The School Resource Officer (SRO) at Sycamore High School worked 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 percent 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.
During the fall of 2016, City Manager Wayne Davis, Chief Don Simpson and Assistant Chief John Crowell met with Sycamore administrators and discussed an additional SRO program at the Sycamore Junior High School. After several meetings, a part-time SRO program was established. The program was set to begin in January of 2017 with an officer spending 20 hours per week at the Junior High. Cost sharing was agreed upon and the program will be evaluated at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
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 2016, the Court heard cases involving over 1,497 offenses resulting in $184,851 in fines, court costs and computer fund charges. After assessing the required State fees, the City’s portion of the fund was $139,476.
The Montgomery Juvenile Court, with Referee Terry Donnellon presiding, heard 21 criminal cases involving 29 juveniles. 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. One case was transferred to Hamilton County Court during 2016 at the request of the parents.
The police department received the American Automobile Association’s Platinum Award. The Platinum Award is an award given by the Association to agencies demonstrating outstanding success in addressing community traffic safety issues. The City of Montgomery was one of a few jurisdictions 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.