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  • Kevin Elliott

Township sees slight increase in crime for 2018

Police reported a slight uptick in overall crime in Bloomfield Township in 2018 compared to the previous year, with non-violent offenses and minor complaints accounting for most increases, according to the department's annual report.

Part A crimes, which account for the most serious offenses, showed a significant decrease over the past three years, with overall complaints dropping from 953 in 2016 to 886 in 2017, and 704 in 2018. However, the drop is related to the way the department reported identity theft complaints in 2018, removing those complaints from overall fraud reports, leading fraud complaints to drop from 394 in 2017 to 220 in 2018.

Part A crimes handled by the department included the following crimes: Criminal sexual conduct I and III: three in 2016, two in 2017, and two in 2018; criminal sexual conduct II and IV: two in 2018, consistent with 2017, down from four in 2016; kidnapping: one in 2016, and zero in 2017 and 2018; robbery: one each in 2018 and 2017, and three in 2016; assaults: 62 in 2016, 59 in 2017, down to 54 in 2018; aggravated assaults: up to 12 in 2018, from eight in 2016 and 10 in 2017; intimidation/stalking: 45 in 2018, 48 in 2017, and 64 in 2016; burglary/home invasion: 33 in 2018, a steep drop from 67 in 2016 and 48 in 2017; larceny from a building: 35 in 2016, 42 in 2017, and 41 in 2018; larceny from auto: 94 in 2016, dropping to 62 in 2017, and 51 in 2018; motor vehicle theft: 18 thefts in 2016, up to 23 in 2017, and just eight in 2018; forgery/counterfeiting: 10 in 2016, six in 2017, and 11 in 2018; embezzlement: 15 incidents in 2016, 17 in 2017, 11 in 2018; retail fraud: 55 in 2016, jumping to 71 in 2017 and 73 in 2018; drug violations: 90 in 2016, /91 in 2017, and 124 in 2018; weapons violations: 18 in 2016, 10 in 2017, and 15 violations in 2018.

Part B Crimes increased slightly, from 304 total complaints in 2016 to 343 in 2017 and 358 in 2018.

Bloomfield Township Police Chief Scott McCanham said the overwhelming majority of complaints the department handles are Part C complaints, which include minor offenses and request for service.

"The vast majority of our calls for service is Part C complaints, which is what we are all about in terms of customer service and citizens' assist," he said.

Overall, the department took 30,287 Part C complaints in 2018, which include complaints about alarms (3,326); animal complaints (671); personal injury crashes (362); property damage crashes (1,928); other complaints (1,195); warrant arrests (284); driving while suspended (519); medical emergencies (1,288) and all other Part C complaints (20,714).

The department's increase in Part C crimes is mainly due to including traffic stops, verbal warnings, house checks and school checks into the "all other complaints" category, which weren't included in previous years.

Also new to this year's annual report was the inclusion of use of force incidents.

The department documented seven use-of-force incidents in 2018, including two Taser deployments; three soft-hand controls; one incident of tackling a felon; and one incident where officers used a vehicle intervention to stop a driver who had driven three miles in the wrong direction on Telegraph Road.

"These are medium level uses of force," McCanham said. "Save for nearly 32,000 calls for service, that's .021 uses of force, or about one for every 4,600 calls."

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