Wheaton 911 calls decrease by 15 percent

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Danforth: ‘We are here to make things better’

The city of Wheaton police department received 452 calls to 911 in 2021, a decrease of 101 calls, or 15 percent, compared to 2020.

Clint Danforth, Wheaton police chief, said he believes his presence in town is part of that decrease in call volume.

“I was short-handed,” he said. “So, I was surprised at first to see that number go down. But, I was injured and put on light duty, so I spent a lot of time driving around town making my presence known.”

Danforth said that the Barry County Sheriff’s Office took over calls when he was off duty, so call volumes vary due to that.

“I haven’t noticed any trend in call types,” he said. “Just that calls in general are on the downslide.”

Danforth said that one consistent issue in town is drug activity.

“Also, a lot of people are gambling at Fastrip late at night, and that brings some concerns,” he said. “The best thing we can tell the public is that if you see something, anything suspicious, contact 911. Don’t wait. Don’t sit on it. If you see it, report it.”

Danforth said in 2021 the Wheaton Police Department was short handed, so he began looking for applicants.

“We hired Cody Stephens in February, and that has helped tremendously at night,” he said. “Looking into 2022, we are pretty set on equipment, but we will have some continued education hours to keep up with state requirements.

“I really think being seen in town and doing extra patrol has helped with the decrease in calls. We will continue that in 2022. We are here to serve and protect. Please contact us anytime, with any issues. We are here to make things better.”

In 2021, the Wheaton Police Department received 452 calls to 911. Of those, 15 were administration, 4 animals, 4 assault/sexual assault, 4 burglary/home invasion, 15 domestic disturbance/violence, 2 drugs, 27 suspicious/wanted (person/circumstance/vehicle), 171 traffic stops, 12 theft, and 8 trespassing/unwanted.

In comparison, in 2020, there were 663 calls to 911. Of those, 12 were trespassing/unwanted, 2 animal, 6 assault/sexual assault, 9 burglary/home invasion, 18 domestic disturbance/violence, 5 drugs, 27 suspicious/wanted (person, circumstance/vehicle), 20 theft and 195 traffic stops.

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