Seligman fire, police received 1,599 calls in 2021

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Both departments see decrease in overall call volume

Seligman saw a slight decrease in 911 calls in 2021 compared to 2020.

For the Seligman Police Department calls dropped in that time by 43 calls, and the Seligman Fire Department saw a drop of 26 calls.

Matt Philips, Seligman police chief, said in 2020, everyone was home due to COVID-19, and in 2021 people started to get out, which caused a drop in domestic disturbance calls.

“The Seligman Police Department does not have an officer on duty 24-7,” he said. “So, when the calls go to the Barry County Sheriff’s Office, that can cause some change in the call volume.”

In the moment, Phillips said he didn’t notice the number of domestic calls going down, but looking at the numbers, he is happy they have.

“There was a time in 2020 where we weren’t making traffic stops,” he said. “Like most departments, we were responding to calls instead of self-initiated stops.”

The Seligman Police Department has two officers, Phillips and Terry Burgess, who is part-time.

“In 2021, we made an effort to have more coverage as far as extra patrols,” Phillips said. “We both have take-home cars, so we try to get on the case when anything is happening in Seligman, even if the county his responding.

“It is better for us to assist each other than take an officer off the road. Everyone is short staffed right now.”

Phillips said over the years he has seen consistency in some call types.

“We get a lot of suspicious calls,” he said. “People will call when they see people out by buildings or something. That mostly happens at night.”

Animals are another problem in Seligman, as there are a lot of stray dogs.

“Dogs are a large problem,” Phillips said. “We have no solution. We don’t have a pound, so if we can find the owner we can deal with that.”

The domestic disturbance/violence 911 calls are a common occurrence.

“This is another one that there is no solution too,” he said. “There is no way that we can prevent it from happening. I am happy to see that number go down in 2021.”

And finally, thefts are an issue in the city, but Phillips said that is mostly from businesses.

“Pursuits are also a difficult thing to categorize,” Phillips said. “Sometimes they are something we initiated, sometimes it is another agency who initiated but we join, and sometimes it is another agency that initiates, but we take it over. That can affect our vehicles too. Most often, those pursuits are heading out of town toward Arkansas.”

“Looking into 2022, we are pretty well set up with our equipment. We replaced the Charger with a Tahoe, which has been great, and over the past couple of years we have really updated equipment and computers. We will purchase new radios and repeater, and that should be there mid-year.”

Phillips said his advice to the public would be to call in if they see something.

“Don’t call City Hall,” he said. “If it is an emergency, call 911, if not call the non emergency number for Barry County 911. That is the easiest way to get someone.”

Phillips said he and Burgess have made an effort to keep up with extra patrol through the city, especially the areas that see more trouble.

The Seligman Police Department received 1,266 911 calls in 2021. There were 592 traffic stops, 12 trespassing/unwanted, 28 traffic/transportation incident (crash), 25 theft, 90 suspicious/wanted (person, circumstance, vehicle), 20 pursuit, 8 harassment/stalking/threat, 3 drugs, 25 domestic disturbance/violence, 7 burglary/home invasion, 6 assault/sexual assault, and 18 animal 911 calls.

In comparison, in 2020, they received 1,303 911 calls. Of which, 32 were traffic/transportation incident (crash), 14 trespassing/unwanted, 523 traffic stops, 35 theft, 89 suspicious unwanted (person, circumstance, vehicle), 26 pursuit, 12 drugs, 56 domestic disturbance/violence, 12 burglary/home invasion, 24 animal, and 6 abuse/abandonment/neglect 922 calls.

The Seligman Fire Department also saw a decrease in calls from 359 in 2020 to 333 in 2021. In 2021, they received 1 vehicle fire 911 calls, 9 vegetation/grass/land fire, 29 traffic/transportation incident (crash), 7 structure fires, 1 outside fire, 147 medical calls, and 6 landing zones.

In 2020, there were 5 vehicle fires, 6 vegetation/grass/land, 22 traffic/transportation incident (crash), 12 structure fires, 3 outside fires, 140 medical calls, 8 landing zone, and 4 electrical hazard 911 calls.

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