Climbing number of police calls keep JPD staff on their toes

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“I was nearly struck by a vehicle that failed to yield,” explained JPD Officer Randy Black.

Leading to a pursuit of that driver what not what Joplin Officer Randy Black expected on what was supposed to be a training session.

“No one was injured and at the end of the pursuit, they did believe the subject was driving under the influence — he was taken into custody,” Black added.

It’s just one of a wide range of situations that can happen on duty. And, those calls for service are on the rise.

“For the last four to five weeks, we’ve noticed a big increase in our call volume,” said JPD Chief Matt Stewart.

For example, more than 1,000 calls Labor Day weekend — numbers that are way up.

Year to date, that’s 59,726 calls for service. Of course, that isn’t limited to crime or emergency calls.

“We track those that call 9-1-1, we track those that call the business line as well as the self-initiated activity that our officers do,” Stewart continued.

The top reason are car stops. Pedestrian checks are high on the list. Officers are keeping an eye on short term and long term trends to see if that calls for any changes in what they’re doing.

“We are seeing a pretty significant short term trend where our calls for service are going up – and that’s something we’ll just have to pay attention to and see what those are and make sure we’re managing our resources,” Stewart explained.

The police chief points out that some of the calls could be prevented — those like a 9-1-1 hangup where there’s no issue, or a false alarm from a security system — something JPD always checks. They add that’s time which could be used for something more important.

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