Year of change and involvement in police department
By Dana Casadei
A year of change and community involvement were large focuses of the Bloomfield Township Police Department's Annual Report at the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, May 8.
Chief of Police James Gallagher began the presentation by discussing the transition of his role as chief of police, which began in July 2022, after the retirement of former chief Phil Langmeyer, who served the township for over 30 years.
Chief Langmeyer wasn’t the only retiree for the department in 2022; there were also three lieutenants, two detectives, one dispatcher, and a Bloomfield Village officer who retired, who combined had over 200 years of police service.
The department did go on to hire five additional officers, two dispatchers and an animal welfare officer in this last year.
Multiple awards were given throughout the evening, highlighting the work the department has done, including Officer of the Year. Officer Ed Ryan, who has been with the department since the fall of 2007, received this year’s award.
This past year also marked the police department’s first full year with their mental health Co-Responder program and clinician Hillary Nusbaum, who was awarded the department’s Civilian of the Year award. Over 600 cases were referred to Nusbaum from all three agencies – Bloomfield Township, Birmingham and Auburn Hills – with 239 referrals directly from Bloomfield Township.
The CoRE program is now also being implemented by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Troy Police Department, and there are plans to expand the central CoRE team, adding the city of Rochester Police Department, and hiring a second clinician to handle the caseload, all of which is being made possible after the Bloomfield Township Police Department was awarded a $260,000 federal grant.
Nick Soley, community relations officer for the Bloomfield Township Police Department, presented the rest of the annual report, which had a notable format change from years prior, closer to a magazine layout than just 70 pages of facts and figures. This change was not only mentioned and appreciated by Gallagher, but trustees as well.
Getting into the facts and figures of the report highlighted that last year the department handled 25,883 calls for service (CFS), about 1,000 calls down from 2021. Those calls ranged from a phone call into dispatch requesting police assistance to a police officer affecting a traffic stop. A CFS is also created when an alarm company calls to alert an alarm has been tripped.
Soley emphasized how much of what the department does is service-orientated policing, such as vacation house checks, vehicle lockouts, and school security checks.
As far as crime in the township goes, Part A Crimes – considered the most serious types of crimes, like robbery, assaults, and high-value larcenies – went up slightly from the year prior, and were primarily fraud/ID thefts and robberies, especially stolen vehicles. Part B and C crimes did go down in Bloomfield Township. Officer Soley did mention he wrote more press releases for high crimes than he ever had before in 2022.
Out of all of those calls for service, only 12 resulted in use of force incidents – less than one percent of their total calls, and down from last year. In total, 947 of those calls for service resulted in arrest, and 6,658 calls included traffic stops.
Soley also discussed the police department’s community involvement, emphasizing how much fun this part is, not only for residents but for officers as well.
Throughout 2022, the police department took part in multiple events across the township, including handing out candy at Halloween, Skate With a Cop night, and a first-time babysitting class, which was so popular the class was full and there are plans for another.