| REPORT OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
I am proud to submit the police department's annual report to the townspeople.
Once again, members of this department have served the residents with
dedication and compassion. Each and every member of the department is
committed to working with the townspeople to help resolve the current societal
issues that we are all facing.
The department is once again requesting funds to bring us back to the staffing
levels of years past and to increase our ability to cover absences when an
officer is on vacation or is absent due to injury or illness. With the assistance of
a Federal Grant in 1998, the department had 30 full time police officers serving
the town. In that same calendar year, the department responded to 9,278 calls
for service. Currently the department has 28 full time police officers and in
calendar year 2005, officers responded to 25,645 calls for service! I only bring
forward this information so that townspeople can more clearly understand the
impact that the growth of both this town and surrounding communities has had
on the police department.
One of the department's top priorities continues to be addressing the substance
abuse issue that plagues both this town and society at large. While it is still my
belief that the most effective weapon against drug use is parental awareness
and involvement from an early age, the department has and will continue to
aggressively do our part. Strong family involvement, education at all levels and
zero tolerance are, in my professional opinion, the main ingredients to
accomplishing this task. The requested manpower and additional funds
requested would go directly to this effort.
By way of example, in calendar year 2005, 30% of arrests (325 of 972) made by
the department were the direct result of alcohol and/or drug use and abuse. I
would estimate that as much as 60% of our total arrests for the year involve
drugs or alcohol in some way, as a secondary issue. For example, in many
instances, arrests made this year for crimes such as disorderly conduct, assault
and battery on a police officer, shoplifting, domestic violence, disturbing the
peace and affray are the indirect result of substance abuse issues. I believe
that I would be remiss in my duties as your police chief not to make the
community aware of this observation.
While Abington still remains a quaint and desirable place to live and raise a
family, both its own population growth as well as the urbanization of
surrounding communities is increasingly affecting us. We must all stay vigilant
and work together to keep Abington a safe and secure community.
Unfortunately, for the first time in decades and possibly the department's entire
history, it became necessary for an officer to use his weapon to shoot and stop
an armed assailant. It is my hope that this serves as a wake up call for everyone
regarding the importance of staffing, training, proper equipment and policy. We
thank townspeople for their support and while these are some serious issues
that we must face, I am confident that both members of the police department
and the townspeople will rise to the challenge.
During the past 12 months, members of the Police Station Building Committee
have selected both a Project Manager and a Project Architect. Their tireless
dedication to the town is an inspiration. I would like to thank them in advance
for the many meeting they will endure in the months to come. The committee
has the ambitious goal of commencing project construction in the summer of
2006 and completing it in the fall of 2007.
In closing, I would like to once again thank the officers of the department, the
various boards, and the residents of the town for their continued support. I look
forward to serving as their police chief for many years to come as we continue
to join together as a community to preserve Abington as a safe and positive
place to live and work.
David G. Majenski
Chief of Police
|Police Department - 2005 Annual Report