The Dickinson Police Department reported a 1.3% decrease in calls for service in 2019. The department received 28,134 calls for service last year compared to 28,509 calls in 2018, marking fewer calls from citizens requesting service, officer self-initiated activity, agency assists and internal records tracking.
According to the report, the single largest category of calls for service was officer-initiated traffic stops, which totaled 5,434 for the year. The second and third largest categories were animal-related calls and parking enforcement, respectively. The lowest category of calls were related to homicide at zero and forgery at 2.
“The Dickinson Police Department Patrol Division is responsible for patrolling the 157 miles of city streets contained in the 14 square miles which make up Dickinson corporate city limits. The Dickinson Police Department logged 28,134 calls for service in 2019, encompassing everything from a public relations visit to a felony arrest,” Capt. Joe Cianni said. “Theft and fraud-related calls for service remain prominent in the vast variety of calls for service received, making up 634 for the year.”
The department served 541 warrants, responded to 520 domestic violence calls and conducted 698 welfare checks in 2019 — each on par or surpassing the previous year's totals and none resulting in the significant injury or death of any officer.
“There were 10 recorded police use of force incidents in 2019. A use of force is formally recorded if an officer uses more than empty-handed physical control or take-down techniques, or if any use of force causes an injury,” Cianni said. “The patrol division also recorded six vehicle pursuits which resulted in no collateral injuries or property damage.”
Chief of Police Dustin Dassinger said he was proud of the work his department conducted in 2019 and of the officers who conduct it.
“The report is a snapshot of the tremendous work and dedication provided by the stellar men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the Dickinson Police Department,” Dassinger said. “Throughout the year, we provided professional police services. Our staff displayed an unwavering commitment to partner with the community to solve problems and ensure the safety of our city.”
The patrol division investigated 963 traffic crashes, 43 of which were associated with an injury of some nature.
“Unfortunately two resulted in fatalities. By far, Highway 22 or 3rd Avenue West continues to produce the majority of all state reportable traffic crashes investigated within the city limits,” Cianni said. “Many of the crashes seem to be typically concentrated in the 1100 to 1300 block of 3rd Avenue West and most are occurring in a 25 mile per hour zone.”
Major crimes in the city were down or equal to the previous year in all categories except burglary, which rose from 35 in 2018 to 42 last year.
Arrests rose 11.1% in a year-to-year comparison of 2018 and 2019, with the Police Department conducting 1,839 arrests in 2019. 1,426 arrests were of adults and 413 arrests were of juveniles, with juvenile arrests nearly doubling from 2018.
Of the juvenile citations and arrest, a vast majority came from tobacco and disorderly conduct, with the Dickinson High School seeing an increase from 94 incidents in 2018 to 129 in 2019.
Rounding out the report on calls for service, Liz Okerson, public safety support specialist with Dickinson Police Department, confirmed that the communication center received more than 58,600 non-emergency calls in 2019.
“We are showing an upward trend in call volume in the center for the last two years, with 2019 being the busiest year since 2016, when we moved to the new public safety center,” she said. “We fielded 58,632 non-emergency phone calls, 9,916 emergency calls and 27 texts over the 12-month period for an average of 5,712 calls per month.”
Dassinger welcomed residents to visit the department’s website at dickinsonpd.com and to become a follower of the department's Facebook page.
“The Dickinson Police Department has a strong reputation in the region for setting the standard and working with the community to make Dickinson exceptional,” he said. “Every member of the Dickinson Police Department strives to demonstrate a commitment to our vision and mission through the guidance of our core values of integrity, respect and service.”
A full version of the report can be found at the department’s website and includes budgetary and grant information, criminal investigations, a timeline of activity in 2019, narcotics task force and K-9 information and more.