Crime rate takes a dip
Lapeer County Sheriff's annual report reflects decrease in reported incidents
December 30, 2009LAPEER COUNTY — The numbers have been tallied and the 2008 Sheriff Department's annual report has been released. Sheriff Ron Kalanquin presented the report to the county commissioners earlier this month. The report is delayed nearly a year due to overlapping state and federal analysis systems.
"Lapeer County is blessed to have a dedicated, experienced work force that often exceeds standards set by larger and better funded jurisdictions," Kalanquin said.
"Your Lapeer County Sheriff's Deputies are some of the sharpest police officers on this planet and most capable of adapting and working hard under pressure."
Total reported crime in Lapeer County decreased in 2008 compared to 2007. More than 6,400 incidents were reported in 2008 compared to 6,981 the prior year.
'Obstructing justice' topped the list of crimes with 903 incidents, followed by 'Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs' with 751 incidents. Five hundred forty-six reports of non-aggravated assaults were the third-most reported crime.
All larcenies tallied were 833. A total of 258 burglaries were reported. Fraud reports equalled 317 with 'bad checks' being the most prevalent type of fraud.
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Local statistics of note were:
•Imlay City police handled eight percent of all criminal offenses (490 incidents) committed in Lapeer County; Almont police handled seven percent or 446 incidents; Dryden four percent or 241 incidents.
The sheriff's department investigated the majority of offenses reported—38 percent or 6,453 incidents.
•Imlay City police were dispatched 4,367 times by Central Dispatch in 2008; Almont police were dispatched 4,156 times and Dryden was sent out 2,577 times. That represents an increase of 200 calls for Imlay City compared to 2007; while Almont's call volume dropped by 220 and Dryden's decreased by 90.
•The intersection of Newark Rd. at M-53 was ranked fifth in the county for the number of crashes. Thirteen were recorded in 2008.
Other 'high crash intersections' on the county's top 20 list were:
#13: E. Capac Rd. and N. Cedar St. in Imlay City—9 crashes
#14: E. Third St. and N. Cedar St. in Imlay City—9 crashes
#17: Dryden Rd. at M-53 in Almont Twp.—8 crashes
#18: Almont Rd. at Glover Rd.—8 crashes
•Attica Township is the only municipality in the Tri-City area to contract service with the Sheriff's Department. In 2008, deputies Jerry Cypret and Larry Kardell were assigned to Attica.
The deputies logged 30,694 miles; performed 197 traffic stops, made seven arrests and recorded more than 600 business checks and 700 vacation checks, among many other duties.
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As for countywide information of note:
•Nine fatal crashes occurred on Lapeer County roads, taking the lives of 11 people.
More than 600 people were injured in 443 personal injury crashes. Just over 2,800 accidents constituted property damage crashes only.
There were 1,342 car/deer accidents.
•Sheriff department personnel logged 2,088 hours of training in 2008 in a variety of areas such as firearms, report writing and crash investigations.
•In 2008, the department began using the Total Station accident reconstruction equipment, which was purchased in partnership with area State Farm Insurance agents.
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In his report, Kalanquin outlined the numerous inmate services and programs provided at the Lapeer County Jail—domestic violence support groups, parenting classes, mental health services, GED classes, community service, Forgotten Men's Ministries and many more.
He also detailed the shared services and mutual aid the county and neighboring counties and the Thumb Regional Correctional Facility enjoy.
"The prison allows us to train at their gun range at no cost for our mandatory qualifications," Kalanquin said.
"What we provide...to the (prison) for their help is trustee inmate labor. These jail trustees work around the perimeter of the prison, doing jobs such as snow shoveling, cleaning and lawn mowing."
The jail maintains a rated capacity of 123 inmates. In 2008, 3,252 inmates were booked in Lapeer County.
The average stay at the Lapeer County Jail in 2008 was 23.14 days—15.46 days for men and 7.68 days for women.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.