Ottumwa Police calls for service “on track” with 2020

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 9:16 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Calls for service to the Ottumwa police are on track to match last year’s statistics.

That’s according to the Ottumwa Police Department’s records. With 16 days left in 2021, the Ottumwa Police Department has received 40,930 calls for service. That’s about a thousand less than the department saw by the end of 2020.

The large category of calls are in the “phone call” category. The records supervisors tells KYOU these are a broad, catch-all code that is usually something small in nature. Traffic stops and thefts are also up this year compared to 2020, but most other types of calls are down.

While juvenile arrests are up from statistics this time last year, Ottumwa Police Chief Chad Farrington says those numbers are manageable. Many of the juvenile arrests are for misdemeanor or minor crimes, which, the Farrington could sometimes lead to an officer letting them off based on attitude, circumstance, or criminal record: “You do have a crime, but people just believe that…hey, let’s just call it what it is and give a person a second chance.”

Another mitigation strategy Farrington points to is police officers trying to interact with the community in a positive way, outside of calls for service. “Yes, we’re still police but it’s not in any formal capacity so to speak. We’re not showing up at your door asking where you were last week kind of thing.”

The Chief says calls tend to trend up this time of year, with suicides and burglaries cropping up more towards Christmastime. However, the Chief warns that crime data can be pretty random, for example some months may see more calls than others between years.

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