By Carolyn Marnon – The Wayne Police Department is budgeted for 24 police officers and currently has 22. There are 3 anticipated retirements before July, 2016 which could bring that number down further. The training process for an officer is approximately 4 months and hopefully, the department will find candidates to fill some of those roles.
The video arraignment equipment has now been installed and is working great. The officers have recently undergone training in such areas as felony stops, legal updates, firearms, and defensive tactics.
Crime numbers for the past month: 15 larcenies, 1 residential breaking and entering, 2 “other” breaking and entering, 3 stolen vehicles, 0 arsons, 45 assaults, 25 traffic crashes, 15 damage to property, and 1 homicide. Crime trends being noted are damaged vehicles (such as slashed tires), teens throwing things off the parking structure at vehicles below, 7-Eleven robberies and the IRS phone scam. With the holiday season, it is expected that there will be incidents of UPS and FedEx packages being stolen off doorsteps. Chief Maciag and Sgt. Spunar suggest that if you aren’t going to be home when a package is being delivered, to have it sent to a neighbor who is home during the day or else sent to a UPS/FedEx drop spot where you can later pick up your package. Criminals like easy opportunities and the easier you make it for them, the more likely they will target you.
Sgt. Spunar spoke about the Investigations Bureau within the department. The number of officers in the bureau has dropped drastically over the years to the two currently in it: Sgt. Spunar is the officer-in-charge; he has one detective working with him. There are no longer officers in the schools. Investigations handles all crimes in the city that are classified as a felony. Misdemeanors are handled by the patrol officers. Other duties of the investigations bureau include maintaining the sex offender registry (on average about 80 offenders), works with the prosectory on court cases, does gun permits, FOIA requests and discovery orders, handles the traffic bureau and takes care of the property room.
The police department now has a Major Crime Team consisting of 6 officers who volunteered to be on-call to help with a major crime scene. They will talk to witnesses and the media, process the crime scene and do whatever else is needed.
The Wayne Police Department thinks the best thing the community can do is to continue to be the eyes and ears for the police. They can’t be everywhere at once. Never feel like you are bothering them to report something.